The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) has received a $20.5 million awards with options for an additional $107.5 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Department Authority (BARDA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding is attached with a mission: Sabin must advance development of clinical-stage monovalent vaccines against Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses through Phase II clinical trials.
The Viruses: Among the World’s Deadliest
Involving hemorrhagic fever and subsequent death in 50% of the cases, Ebola Sudan and Marburg are among the world’s deadliest viruses. Ebola Zaire is a closely related strain and has more than 2,000 deaths in the last year during the ongoing Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) outbreak. The World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Action Required Now
With Ebola Sudan and Marburg outbreaks in the past and the potential for more devastating outbreaks, preventative measures are required now to protect civilian populations, military personnel, first responders, healthcare workers and laboratory workers—both in the United States and abroad.
BARDA Funding & The GSK Exclusive Technology License
With the funding, Sabin can advance investigational Ebola Sudan and Marburg vaccines using the ChAd3-based platform recently licensed under an agreement between GSK and Sabin (GSK granted exclusive technology license to Sabin). This deal occurred in August 2019. Sabin exclusively licensed the technology of all three candidate vaccines and acquired certain patent specific to these vaccines. The three candidate vaccines were initially developed collaboratively by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Okairos, which GSK acquired in 2013. The candidate vaccines, based on GSK’s proprietary ChAd3 platform, were further developed by GSK, including a Phase II development for the Ebola Zaire vaccine. The ChAd3-based vaccines have demonstrated strong safety profiles and encouraging immunogenicity results after being administered to more than 5,000 adults and 600 children in 13 different clinical trials to date.
ChAd3 Vaccine Studies
This effort builds on the immunogenicity and safety demonstrated in recent Phase I clinical trials conducted by the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Sabin seeks to progress ChAd3 vaccines in pursuit of licensure and stockpiling. Under the agreement between BARDA and Sabin, the initial $20.5 million award supports process development and non-clinical activities. Additional non-clinical studies, as well as manufacturing of clinical material and Phase II clinical trials in the United States and Africa, may be supported by $107.7 million in additional funding.
The project is funded with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin maintains an existing Ebola Sudan and Marburg Program. The Sabin Vaccine Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 1993, is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Sabin’s R&D strategy focuses on continuing the development of candidate vaccines that have demonstrated early scientific value and target disease primarily impacting the world’s most vulnerable populations, but have little commercial value. The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the David E.I. Pyott Foundation provided seed funding to launch Sabin’s ChAd3 Ebola program. In past years, Sabin received more than $110 million for vaccine R&D programs from public and philanthropic funding sources, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, European Commission, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Global Health Innovative Technology Fund and the Michelson Medical Research Foundation.
Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world.
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