Profectus successfully tests vaccine for Makona strain of Ebola virus

Profectus Biosciences recently successfully tested the only vaccine that protects against the Makona strain of the Zaire Ebola virus in non-human primates -- the same strain that has infected more than 10,000 people in West Africa's current outbreak.

Trademarked VesiculoVax, the vaccine was given to non-human primates who 28 days later were given the Makona strain of the Ebola virus, taken from human subjects in Africa.

“There were no fatalities, no sickness and no side effects," John Eldridge, chief scientific officer with Profectus, said during a recent interview with Vaccine News Weekly. "And the animals were given a dosage that would clearly be lethal to humans.”

Human trials of the new vaccine will take place in October or November during a Phase II study. 

“It is absolutely possible this vaccine could be available for the world population in our lifetimes,” Eldridge said.

The trials are being funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Eldridge said it is important to find a vaccine to protect against Ebola because it is classified as a Category A Threat Agent.

“It’s a true weapon of mass destruction,” Eldridge said. “This [vaccine] is one of a series that we’re developing to safeguard against deliberate misuse and epidemic outbreak.”

The vaccine could also protect laboratory workers and researchers.

Organizations in this Story

National Institutes of Health Profectus BioSciences

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