Sabin Vaccine Institute receives $35 million from BARDA with potential of up to $214 million for Medical Countermeasure Development against Marburg and Sudan ebolavirus diseases.
The Sabin Vaccine Institute today announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has awarded Sabin a multi-year contract with funding potential for up to $214 million to advance the development and production of single-dose vaccine candidates for Ebola Sudan and Marburg virus diseases.
There are currently no licensed vaccines against Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses, which cause hemorrhagic fever and kill approximately half the people infected.
BARDA, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), will initially invest approximately $35 million to produce up to 100,000 doses of Sabin’s Ebola Sudan virus (ChAd3-SUDV) vaccine. These vaccines may be used as part of ongoing U.S. preparedness efforts and in response to future global outbreaks.
The Sabin vaccine was the first to arrive in Uganda during the recent Ebola Sudan virus outbreak that caused 55 deaths after the World Health Organization included it as one of three vaccines for possible use in an outbreak trial in Uganda. The country declared the Ebola Sudan outbreak had ended on January 11, four months after the first confirmed case.
“Sabin successfully delivered Ebola Sudan vaccine doses to Uganda within 79 days of the start of the outbreak – quite an impressive accomplishment,” says Sabin Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan. “This new contract enables Sabin to produce up to 100,000 doses so the world is prepared in advance for future outbreaks.”
In addition to participating in recent outbreak activities, Sabin continues its Sudan development plan and has initiated Phase 2 clinical trial planning in Uganda and Kenya. Based on previous clinical trials, Sabin’s Ebola Sudan vaccine is safe and immunogenic, and in nonhuman primate studies has demonstrated rapid protection, durability up to 12 months, and efficacy.
In addition to Sabin’s ChAd3-SUDV vaccine, the contract also includes support to manufacture Sabin’s vaccine against Marburg virus (ChAd3-MARV), which would generate doses that could also be used in trials and in response to a possible Marburg virus outbreak. As recently as last July, two people in Ghana died after being infected with Marburg virus, reinforcing the urgent need for a vaccine.
The new contract leverages a partnership with BARDA that began in 2019, when the agency awarded Sabin another multi-year contract valued at $128 million to further the development of vaccines against both the Marburg and Ebola Sudan viruses.
“BARDA has been a supportive partner as we take these essential steps in pandemic preparedness,” said Finan. “The Ebola Sudan outbreak in Uganda underscored the critical need for readily available solutions. We’ll now have ample material to respond quickly to such an outbreak in the future.”
This project will be funded in whole with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under contract number 75A50123C00010.
About Ebola Sudan and Marburg
Ebola Sudan and Marburg are members of the filovirus family. Both can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. No therapeutic treatment of these hemorrhagic fevers has been licensed to date. Marburg and Ebola viruses are transmitted to humans by infected animals, particularly fruit bats. Once a human is infected, the virus can spread to others through close personal contact or contact with bodily fluids. Isolation of infected people is currently the centerpiece of filovirus control.
Marburg was the first filovirus to be recognized in 1967 when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever were reported in a few Europe-based laboratories including in the town of Marburg, Germany. Ebola was identified in 1976 when two simultaneous outbreaks occurred in northern Zaire (now the DRC) in a village near the Ebola River and in southern Sudan. The outbreaks involved what eventually proved to be two different species of Ebola virus; both were named after the nations in which they were discovered.