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."