A breathable vaccine in development has been shown to provide long-term protection for non-human primates against the deadly Ebola virus.
A vaccine which is inhalable could help overcome the logistical obstacles of storing, transporting and administering injectable vaccines in resource-limited areas.
Results from a recent pre-clinical study show that a single dose of a non-injectable vaccine platform for Ebola is long lasting, which could have significant global implications in controlling future outbreaks.
Professor Maria Croyle and graduate student Kristina Jonsson-Schmunk of The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Pharmacy, with Dr. Gary Kobinger and his team at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, reported their results this week in the online edition of the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.
Croyle, Jonsson-Schmunk and colleagues worked over seven years to develop a respiratory formulation that improved survival of immunized non-human primates from 67 percent to 100 percent after challenge with 1,000 plaque forming units of Ebola Zaire 150 days after immunization.
This improvement is statistically significant because only 50 percent of the primates given the vaccine by the standard method of intramuscular injection survived challenge.
“There is a desperate need for a vaccine that not only prevents the continued transmission from person to person, but also aids in controlling future incidences,” said Jonsson-Schmunk.
“The main advantage of our vaccine platform over the others in clinical testing is the long-lasting protection after a single inhaled dose,” added Croyle. “Moreover, this immunization method is more attractive than an injectable vaccine given the costs associated with syringe distribution and needle safety and disposal.”
The next stage of research for Croyle’s team is a Phase I clinical trial that tests the effectiveness of their vaccine in human subjects. They will also further explore preliminary data they have collected for administration of the vaccine as a thin film under the tongue in non-human primates.
Read the study at Molecular Pharmaceutics: A Single Dose Respiratory Recombinant Adenovirus-Based Vaccine Provides Long-Term Protection for Non-Human Primates from Lethal Ebola Infection.
Source: University of Texas at Austin, adapted.