Novavax seeks human subjects to test Ebola GP vaccine

Novavax seeks volunteers to test its Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) vaccine.
Novavax seeks volunteers to test its Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) vaccine. | Courtest of Novavax

Novavax, a clinical-stage vaccine company, said on Thursday that it is enrolling volunteers for a Phase 1 clinical trial of its Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) test vaccine.

The company began developing the vaccine shortly after news spread of the epidemic in West Africa last year. Novavax already has had positive results from several relevant animal studies using the vaccine, Stanley Erck, Novavax's president and CEO, said.

Erck said the company is also developing a vaccine for the A/H7N9 avian flu virus.

“Additionally, like our other recombinant vaccine candidates, our Ebola GP Vaccine can be rapidly scaled-up to produce millions of doses,” Erck said. “Creating new vaccines in such an expeditious manner exemplifies Novavax's ability to respond to a variety of global infectious-disease threats."

About 230 healthy adults in Australia between 18 and 50 years old will each receive two intramuscular injections on day 1 and day 21.

"The strong immune responses observed in our animal immunogenicity models and the protection observed in the nonhuman primate challenge models confirm that our Ebola GP Vaccine is an important candidate for consideration,” Gregory Glenn, senior vice president of research and development for Novavax, said. “Because of the unprecedented ongoing Ebola epidemic, and with more than 20 historical outbreaks of Ebola virus, Novavax believes there is an urgent need for a safe and effective licensed vaccine. Combined with the very promising recent data on our Ebola GP Vaccine, there is a clear rationale for moving this program forward."

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