J&J advances investigational Ebola vaccine regimen

Ebola breakthrough as scientists identify potential therapy
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ jading

Johnson and Johnson, via Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, has advanced its investigational Ebola vaccine regimen with a new award from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

BARDA is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The collaborative partnership will support J&J’s ongoing commitment to develop a novel prime-boost vaccine regimen to help prevent the spread of Ebola.

The funding represents one of the first of BARDA’s Project BioShield awards for investigational Ebola vaccines and drugs.

BARDA will provide funding of $44.7 million, with options for additional funding, over five years to help support the development and potential licensure of the vaccine candidate.

The novel regimen involves an initial dose that primes the immune system to develop disease-specific immune responses, followed by a booster dose with the goal of potentially strengthening and optimizing the duration of the response.

The regimen uses a combination of two components based on AdVac technology from Janssen Vaccines & Prevention and MVA-BN technology from Bavarian Nordic.

The 2014-2016 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa was the largest outbreak since the virus was discovered 40 years ago. The outbreak caused over 11,000 deaths, including more than 500 health care workers.