J&J Ebola Vaccine Has Promise as Wider Test Awaits Next Outbreak - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Study data published in JAMA indicate that an experimental Ebola vaccine under development by Johnson & Johnson induced a strong immune response in human volunteers, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
  • In the study, the investigators randomised 87 volunteers to receive AdVac together with Bavarian Nordic's MVA-BN booster or placebo, finding that all people who receivedthe vaccine continued to produce antibodies against Ebola after eight months.
  • The researchers also noted that the vast majority of people who received the vaccine were producing T-cells that could kill Ebola-infected cells to prevent them from replicating.
  • "If there is a large epidemic, we should be able to use it to study the efficacy," commented Johnson & Johnson chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels, adding "hopefully we will never need it, but if it is a problem, we'll be ready to step in."
  • Commenting on the findings, Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested that the use of a two-dose regimen could result in a lower benefit than those achieved with other vaccines such as one developed by Merck & Co.
  • "This has the potential for greater durability, though we don't know that yet," Fauci said, adding "if it is comparable or better, that would be a good reason for this one to proceed in development. There is always room for more than one vaccine."

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