Profectus BioSciences, a Baltimore, Md.-based clinical-stage vaccine company, and the Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have received a three-year $8.5 million grant from the U.S. Army. The grant will support studies directed at early steps of the ongoing development of a vaccine to provide pre- and post-exposure protection against exposure with all major strains of Ebola and Marburg viruses.
"In light of the current outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa, we are grateful that the Department of the Army has recognized the potential of Profectus' VesiculoVax rVSV-vectored filovirus vaccine to counter biowarfare threats, and Profectus BioSciences is confident it also will have application with regard to protecting civilians and military personnel against highly lethal emerging infectious diseases," said John Eldridge, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Profectus.
In December 2012, Profectus BioSciences and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network announced that a clinical phase I study has demonstrated the safety and immunogenicity of its VesiculoVax vaccine vector platform. The VesiculoVax vectored HIV vaccine was found to be safe at all dose levels tested and to induce a vaccine-specific cell-mediated immune response in 62.5% of vaccine recipients. In 2012, Profectus BioSciences and GNL received a five-year $5.4 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) supporting the development of a trivalent vaccine to protect against systemic exposure with all major strains of Ebola and Marburg viruses.
In March, UTMB, Profectus Biosciences, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center were awarded $26 million by the NIH to advance combination treatments for Ebola and Marburg infection.