BALTIMORE (WJZ)–The current Ebola outbreak isn’t the only fatal virus out there.
Alex DeMetrick reports a Maryland Company is at the forefront of combating multiple viruses with a single vaccine.
Ebola isn’t the only virus capable of killing, so three of the deadliest are themselves targets for researchers, combining multiple protection in a single vaccine.
“Which is called a tri-valent because it has three different components that will protect against all filoviruses,” said Dr. John Eldridge, Profectus BioSciences.
Those viruses are the Zaire-Ebola currently hitting West Africa, the Sudan-Ebola and the Angola-Marburg virus.
And if it seems they couldn’t get any more dangerous, “all three have been weaponized, or were weaponized, many years back,” said Jeffrey Meshulam, president of Profectus BioSciences.
Which is why the Department of Defense is investing nearly $10 million with this Baltimore company.
The work Profectus BioSciences is doing on a multiple virus vaccine started before the current Ebola crisis.
The outbreak has added urgency.
“We have to come out with something that is ultimately going to make health care workers safe,” said Trish Perl, Johns Hopkins.
In trials on monkeys, the Profectus Biosciences vaccine is showing another line of protection may be coming.
“Administration of a second dose of the vaccine causes a huge increase in immunity and presumptively will provide life-long immunity,” Eldridge said.
While protecting U.S. troops is the primary goal, the vaccine could expand to civilian use.
“The program we have would be useable in both settings, in outbreaks like we’re having in West Africa, but also with the war fighter,” Meshulam said.
Provided the jump from lab research to human trials lives up to the vaccine’s promise.
Human trials of the multiple virus vaccine will begin late next year.
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