Studies conducted on nonhuman primates showed that just one dose of the Profectus vaccine is 100 percent effective against Ebola Zaire. The HHS hopes that its funds will spur the vaccine into a larger scale human-clinical-studies stage.
"We are grateful that the Department of Health and Human Services has recognized the potential of Profectus' VesiculoVax Ebola vaccine, which offers promise for preventing as well as treating individuals from infection with the Zaire variant of Ebola that is responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa," Profectus Chief Scientific Officer John Eldridge said. "Advancing this vaccine into human studies is a top priority for Profectus, and we remain committed to moving this program into clinical evaluation as rapidly as possible."
Once the success of the Ebola vaccine is determined, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must approve Profectus’ application for an investigational new drug. The approval of the application would lead to testing the Ebola vaccine on human candidates. All of this is necessary to test the safety of the vaccine and the human immune system’s response to it.
To date, $27.9 million has been donated to Profectus to continue testing the vaccine.