Immunovaccine Inc., a clinical stage vaccine company, announced positive results for a vaccine formulated in its DepoVax technology in an Ebola virus challenge study performed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In a preliminary study using cynomolgus monkeys, which are particularly sensitive to the Ebola virus, all vaccinated subjects survived exposure to a lethal dose of the wild type Zaire strain of the virus. All unvaccinated control animals succumbed to the disease.
In this study four cynomolgus macaque subjects received two doses of the DepoVax-formulated vaccine, one at study initiation and a second on Day 56. They were then challenged on day 70 with a lethal dose of the wild type Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. The Zaire strain is believed to be the most lethal among Ebola viruses and is responsible for the current Ebola virus outbreak. More than two weeks following exposure to the virus, all vaccinated subjects were alive with no disease symptoms. The two control animals in this study succumbed to the infection within seven days.
This study, conducted under NIAID’s preclinical services program, was designed to identify favorable vaccine candidates for further study. Based on this high efficacy observed in cynomolgus macaques, Immunovaccine is exploring a potential development program for an Ebola virus vaccine with various organizations.
“While the DepoVax technology is actively being developed for various infectious disease applications, this is the first time we have tested the platform as an enabling technology for an Ebola vaccine,” stated Marc Mansour, chief executive officer of Immunovaccine. “These preliminary results are encouraging and support the continued evaluation of an Ebola vaccine in DepoVax, potentially leading to a clinical study.”
The decision to test DepoVax for Ebola virus was prompted by the positive results produced previously with an anthrax vaccine under the same preclinical services program offered by NIAID. The ongoing anthrax studies with NIAID are intended to evaluate the potential of DepoVax to enable rapid protection against anthrax with a single dose. Independently, Immunovaccine is also preparing for a clinical trial with a DepoVax-based vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) planned for 2014.
Date: August 26, 2014
Filed Under: Drug Discovery