The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced a new license agreement aimed at advancing dual-purpose candidate vaccines to protect against rabies and Ebola viruses. The vaccines were created by scientists at NIAID and Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) in Philadelphia and are being further developed through a partnership with the German pharmaceutical company IDT Biologika. The candidate vaccines now have been licensed to Exxell BIO of Saint Paul, Minnesota, which aims to advance the products through clinical testing and commercialization.
The experimental vaccines--based on rabies virus vaccines currently used in people and in animals--contain either a killed or a live, attenuated (weakened) rabies virus engineered to produce an Ebola protein. The killed, or inactivated, vaccine is being developed to prevent rabies and Ebola infection in people, while the live, attenuated vaccine is intended for use in African wildlife to help prevent Ebola virus transmission from animals to people. Studies conducted by NIAID and TJU researchers have shown that the vaccines are safe and induce rabies- and Ebola-specific immune responses in monkeys. The vaccines also protected the monkeys from infection with the Zaire strain of Ebola, which currently is spreading among people in West Africa.
To date, the 2014 Ebola outbreak has caused approximately 8,400 illnesses, including more than 4,000 deaths. In partnership with TJU, IDT Biologika and Exxell BIO, NIAID researchers plan to use the licensed technology to develop rabies-based vaccines to protect at-risk populations from the Zaire and Sudan strains of Ebola virus and the closely related Marburg virus. NIAID also is conducting and supporting numerous other research efforts to develop Ebola vaccines and treatments.
NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and Joseph Blaney, Ph.D., M.B.A., a staff scientist in NIAID's Division of Intramural Research, are available to discuss development of the vaccines.
To schedule interviews, please contact Hillary Hoffman, (301) 402-1663, email@example.com.
NIAID conducts and supports research--at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide--to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.
NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®