Novavax begins Ebola vaccine Phase 1 clinical trial

Novavax begins Ebola vaccine clinical trial phase 1
Novavax begins Ebola vaccine clinical trial phase 1 | Courtesy of

Novavax, Inc., said Thursday it is beginning its Phase 1 clinical trial of its Ebola vaccine.

Novavax, a company that specializes in discovering, developing, and marketing recombinant nanoparticle vaccines and adjuvants, said that enrollment in the Phase 1 trial is open. Trial subjects must be healthy to participate.

The vaccine is a glycoprotein (GP) recombinant nanoparticle vaccine that is adjuvanted with Matrix-M.

Researchers behind the Ebola GP vaccine previously published their results from a study concerning the genetic sequence of the 2014 Ebola Makona strain (also known as the 2014 Ebola Guinea strain). This is the strain that began the Ebola outbreak currently in West Africa.

Phase 1 is an observer-blind, randomized, dose-ranging study that will determine the efficiency and safety of the Ebola GP vaccine. The doses will include vaccine samples with and without the Matrix-M adjuvant.

The trial will involve 230 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 50. Scientists will administer two intramuscular injections in each patient. One injection will be administered on the first day of the study and the second dose will be on the 21st day of the study.

Novavax specially prioritized the Ebola GP vaccine, publishing the Makona research in September 2014, developing the vaccine, manufacturing the vaccine and delivering the results from the primate study. Now the company has started the Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia.

The Novavax Ebola vaccine has proven successful in previous primate studies. There were two groups of primates in the study. One group received the vaccine while the other did not. The unvaccinated group died when given a lethal dose of Ebola, while 100 percent of the vaccinated animals were protected from the virus.

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