Female doctor hands holding syringe and vaccine. Healthcare And Medical concept.

J&J accelerate Ebola Vaccine Development

Johnson & Johnson announced it will fast-track the development of a promising new combination vaccine regimen against Ebola and broadly collaborate with its partners in global health to deliver immediate relief aid to address the current Ebola outbreak.

The accelerated vaccine program features a prime-boost regimen, in which one vector is used to prime and the other to boost the immune response. It consists of two vaccine components that are based on AdVac technology from Crucell N.V. (part of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, based in the Netherlands) and the MVA-BN technology from Bavarian Nordic, (a biotech company, based in Denmark). The program has received direct funding and is also utilizing vaccine preclinical services from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of National Institutes of Health (NIH). Crucell will bring this development program forward, in close collaboration with Bavarian Nordic and the NIAID, to allow for initiation of a clinical trial of this combined regimen in humans in early 2015.

The company’s expedited vaccine development schedule is in response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and is aligned with the World Health Organization’s Ebola Response Roadmap, including its call to fast-track access to treatment and vaccine options to address the Ebola virus outbreak. Johnson & Johnson’s multi-pronged approach, as part of their overall commitment to prevent disease in vulnerable populations, includes: an intensive review of known pathways in Ebola pathophysiology to determine whether previously tested medicines can be used to help patients survive an Ebola infection; and additional support to the non-profit organization Direct Relief International to facilitate the air transport of a variety of infection prevention products to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“Patients are at the heart of everything we do. Our primary goal in this escalating Ebola epidemic is to assist governments in protecting health care workers, families and populations who are at high risk of being infected with Ebola as soon as possible in an effort to stop the disease from spreading further,” said Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson. “With a strong heritage in collaborative partnerships and a proven track record in the rapid development and access of innovative products, we aim to ultimately eradicate deadly diseases like Ebola and save lives around the world.”

Crucell and Bavarian Nordic are both currently developing preventive vaccines against filoviruses, including Ebola virus, with direct funding and vaccine preclinical services from NIAID. In addition, the two companies have developed a combination regimen that harnesses the potency of both vaccines and could be used to elicit protective immunity against the Zaïre species of the Ebola virus, which is responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa. The combination vaccine provided complete protection of vaccinated macaques against disease and death after exposure to a highly virulent wild-type Ebola Zaire strain  […]

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Date: September 4, 2014 Source: Johnson & Johnson

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