The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will provide $9.5 million in funding to Profectus BioSciences Inc. for the manufacture and preclinical testing of the Profectus trivalent Ebola/Marburg vaccine.
The award is through the Medical Countermeasure Systems-Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program (MCS-JVAP).
Additionally, the U.S. African Chamber of Commerce has also issued a contract for clinical evaluation of the company's VesiculoVax Zaire-Ebola virus vaccine to help corral the current outbreak in West Africa.
"While the urgent need today is for a vaccine that protects against the current Ebola Zaire outbreak, we are also anticipating the needs for tomorrow," LTC Victor Suarez, MCS-JVAP joint product manager, said. "We are continuing to develop a trivalent vaccine that will protect our service members and DoD civilians against the major filovirus threats: Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses,"
Profectus began development of VesiculoVax rVSVN4CT1 approximately five years ago with Dr. Thomas Geisbert at the UTMB Galveston National Laboratories and Dr. Heinz Feldmann at the NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratories. In preliminary studies, it was shown that a single dose of the rVSVN4CT1-Z-Ebola vaccine protected guinea pigs and rhesus macaques against death when followed up with a lethal dose of the active Zaire-Ebola virus.
"The available evidence suggests that a trivalent vaccine, such as the one under development by Profectus, is the desired end point as it would simultaneously offer protection against the current Ebola Zaire outbreak and also meet the long-term goals of preventing future infections by the Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses," Suarez said.