The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response (ASPR) this week awarded funding to Profectus BioSciences, Inc. to support advanced development of the company’s rVSV-vectored Ebola and Marburg virus vaccine.
The vaccine is based on the live attenuated rVSVINN4CT1 clinical vector, which has successfully completed phase 1 safety and immunogenicity testing as an HIV vaccine candidate (HVTN trial 090).
To provide protection against all filoviruses, the Profectus vaccine contains a blend of three rVSVN4CT1 vectors expressing the G proteins from S-EboV, Z-EboV, and MarV. In support of animal model development, Profectus provided the Z-EboV-rVSVN4CT1 and MarV-rVSVN4CT1 vaccines for two FANG-coordinated non-human primate challenge studies conducted under NIAID’s preclinical services program.
In an early study, a single IM dose of the Z-EboV-rVSVN4CT1 vaccine completely protected 3 cynomolgus macaques against challenge 28 days later with a lethal dose (1,000 pfu) of low passage Z-EboV, while 3 non-vaccinated macaques succumbed to lethal disease. Twenty eight days after the first challenge, the protected macaques were then challenged with a lethal dose (1,000 pfu) of low passage S-EboV. Two of three were protected, even though S-EboV is distantly related to Z-EboV.
In a second study, a single dose of the MarV-rVSVN4CT1 vaccine completely protected 2 cynomolgus macaques against lethal challenge 28 days later with low passage MarV, while 2 non-vaccinated macaques succumbed.
Additional biodefense programs at Profectus include vaccines against Lassa and Chikungunya viruses utilizing the vesiculovirus platform.
The contract is valued at $8,620,131 and was announced under Solicitation Number: CBRN-BAA-13-100-SOL-00013.