Bavarian Nordic initiates Ebola vaccine study in Sierra Leone

A safety and immunogenicity study for an Ebola virus candidate vaccine has been initiated in Sierra Leone, Bavarian Nordic announced Friday.

This study will evaluate the safety and properties of the MVA-BN Filovirus vaccine with the ZEBOV vaccine candidate from Crucell Holland BV. Crucell Holland operates as a Janssen Pharmaceutical companies under Johnson & Johnson.  According to the company, the first volunteers received their doses of the vaccine. 

This study consists of approximately 40 adults who are 18 and older. During its second stage, approximately 400 volunteers in multiple age groups will receive vaccine doses.

“The initiation of [the study] marks an important milestone for our joint program with Janssen,” Bavarian Nordic CEO and President Paul Chaplin said. “It is a significant step forward in the development of a vaccine against Ebola. It is remarkable how far the program has moved, which has only been possible due to the commitment and dedication shown by both Janssen and our employees in terms of the progress we have made in manufacturing bulk vaccine for almost 2 million doses and initiating this study within a year of joining forces." 

Chaplin said the key attributes of both the MVA-BN and Ad26 technologies were initially recognized through NIH funding and subsequently the program has benefited from additional governmental funding. He added that their progress to date highlights the potential for a successful model of private-public partnerships in the development of products addressing unmet medical needs.

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