First human trials for new Ebola vaccine

The first human trial of an Ebola vaccine that was developed using the same technology as the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, began Thursday, November 11 at the University of Oxford.

The vaccine is designed to fight the types of Ebola in Zaire and Sudan which together have caused almost all Ebola outbreaks and deaths worldwide. The University of Oxford has launched a Phase 1 trial to test the vaccine in human volunteers and is currently recruiting.

The “ChAdOx1 biEBOV” vaccine will be tested on 26 volunteers aged 18 to 55 to determine its safety and immunogenicity. Few people have been in line and the first vaccinations have already started. Dr Daniel Jenkin, principal investigator of the trial at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, said;

“There are three other important species of Ebola virus that these vaccines are not approved to prevent. We are conducting a clinical trial of a new Ebola vaccine called “ChAdOx1 biEBOV”, which is designed to target two of the deadliest species of Ebola virus. “ As with the Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, the Ebola vaccine is based on a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees, but which has been modified so that it cannot cause disease in humans.

However, instead of inserting coronavirus spike protein genes into the genetic material of this chimpanzee virus as was the case with the Covid vaccine, the team loaded the chimpanzee virus with genes for the main protein on the surface. Ebola virus.

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While there are other vaccines in development to protect against more than one species of the Ebola virus, Jenkin said the new vaccine was the first to use the same underlying technology that was used for the Oxford vaccine. / AstraZeneca Covid. This, he added, could bring practical benefits.

Jenkin a dit: « [Le Covid jab] is now manufactured at 20 different manufacturing sites, including in middle-income countries. Having this proof of concept that a similar vaccine can be manufactured on an incredibly large scale is also a very big advantage. “

Participants will receive a dose of the vaccine and then be followed over a six-month period to allow researchers to explore the safety of the vaccine and the immune response it triggers. Volunteers interested in registering for the study can do so online through the university. Another trial of the vaccine is expected to start in Tanzania by the end of the year.

Highly effective Ebola vaccines have been developed in recent years, but experts warn that they have only been approved for one of the four species of the Ebola virus. It is the Zairian species which is responsible for many epidemics, and which has the highest mortality rate, with estimates ranging between 70% and 90%.

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