- Janssen (part of Johnson & Johnson) and Nordic Bavarian have developed a vaccine that combines Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN Filo vaccine with Janssen's Ad26.ZEBOV.
- A total of 612 healthy volunteers in England and France will be tested with the vaccine to assess safety, tolerabilty and immunogenicity.
- A second phase II trial will start in Africa during Q3 2015, with 1,200 volunteers.
Recent reporting on Ebola R&D has focused on the dearth of suitable clinical trial subjects. This has made it difficult for companies with Ebola vaccines further along in development---such as a vaccine being co-developed by NewLink Genetics and Merck. Nonetheless, between late December 2013 and fall 2014, more than 5,000 people died (out of 11,000 people infected) from Ebola in West Africa, with most deaths occuring in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Though the virus has been successfuly contained through strenous efforts involving the World Health Organization, local federal governments in West Africa and international non-governmental agencies, such as Doctors Without Borders, the virus has not been cured. Containment and cure are not one in the same. The virus could once again gain a foothold and become pandemic, leading to more terror and more deaths.
Companies, such as Janssen and Bavarian Nordic, are moving forward with clinical trials in order to be prepared for such a challenge.