A single vaccine Profectus BioSciences is developing to protect against two strains of the Ebola virus and a third similar pathogen is effective at preventing those diseases in monkeys, the Baltimore biotechnology company said Tuesday.
The findings mean the vaccine could be ready for human trials by the middle of next year.
While the 2014 Ebola outbreak that struck West Africa has waned, that historic epidemic and recent, smaller outbreaks of a different Ebola strain and Marburg virus "underscore the need for a vaccine that provides broad protection," Profectus Chief Scientific Officer John Eldridge said in a statement.
Profectus has received $55 million in investment from government health and defense agencies for its Ebola vaccine work, which also includes development of a separate vaccine candidate designed to prevent a single strain of Ebola. The support comes from the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institutes of Health.
Profectus had expected to begin human trials of that single-strain vaccine in June, but is still awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval.