US-based Emergent BioSolutions has produced a modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) Ebola Zaire vaccine candidate (MVA EBOZ).
Emergent has developed the vaccine candidate in collaboration with the Oxford University, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Under the agreements, Emergent carried out proof-of-concept work and produced MVA EBOZ vaccine candidate at a 200l scale in an avian cell line, which had previously been licensed to the company.
Emergent BioSolutions president and CEO Daniel Abdun-Nabi said: "Emergent is pleased to be collaborating with the Jenner Institute, Oxford University, NIAID, and GSK to advance this MVA EBOZ vaccine candidate into a Phase I study.
"Emergent is well-positioned for this unique opportunity given our long-standing expertise in MVA product development and our MVA manufacturing capabilities, utilising a proprietary avian cell line to which we hold rights."
The vaccine candidate will be used in a Phase I clinical trial, which is being supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust and the UK Department for International Development.
The UK trial will be carried out at the Jenner Institute by Professor Adrian Hill, and assess the safety of MVA EBOZ as a heterologous boost to GSK’s Chimp Adenovirus type 3 (ChAd3) Ebola vaccine candidate.
Emergent has manufactured the vaccine candidate at its facility located in Bayview Campus of Baltimore, Maryland. The facility features disposable manufacturing technology such as single use bioreactors that allow production of viral and non-viral products with a quick turnaround.
According to Emergent, data from an Ebola vaccine human clinical trial published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine recommend the use of MVA vector as a potential option to enhance the levels of ChAd-primed antibody and T-cell responses.
Image: Electron micrograph of an Ebola virus virion. Photo: courtesy of CDC / Cynthia Goldsmith.