Soligenix vaccine for Sudan ebolavirus demonstrates 100 percent protection in primate testing

Results from non-human primate testing of a Soligenix, Inc.-developed Bivalent Thermostabilized Filovirus vaccine, released this week, suggested 100 percent protection provided against the Sudan ebolavirus among dosed non-human primates.

The single vial vaccine is meant to target both the Marburg and Sudan filoviruses, and its antigens and adjuvants have been previously shown to shield primates from subsequent infection. Developed in collaboration between Soligenix and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH), the successful showing raised hopes among researchers that the associated vaccine platform could mean larger things still for the U.S. government’s overall pandemic preparedness efforts.

Currently, no vaccine exists for either Sudan ebolavirus or Marburg marburgvirus.

“Filoviruses such as Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, and Marburg marburgvirus are some of the most lethal viruses known, and they are endemic in areas of the world where the power supply and distribution network can be uncertain,” Dr. Axel Lehrer, associate professor with UHM’s Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, said. “A heat stable vaccine in a single vial format would significantly enhance any public health preparedness or response to a new outbreak, at its source. Our work to date has demonstrated the feasibility of rapid and efficient manufacturing, as well as the ability to thermostabilize multiple antigens that can then be stored at temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Having a vaccine platform available such as this has the potential to accelerate worldwide vaccination campaigns addressing future health emergencies, including another global pandemic like the one we are unfortunately experiencing with COVID-19.”

The milestone for deployment against these filoviruses is that it shows the platform can still provide complete protection with a thermostabilized formulation, increasing its viability worldwide.

The same vaccine platform deployed against these filoviruses was also used to develop CiVax, a COVID-19 vaccine that showed some immunogenicity against previous disease variants. Soligenix intends to test that vaccine candidate against the newly emerged Omicron variant.

“Our next generation combined vaccine platform includes three major components: a robust protein manufacturing process that has been demonstrated on multiple protein antigens, a novel nano-emulsion adjuvant which induces broad immunity, and a formulation procedure which enables thermostabilization of the combination of adjuvant and antigen in a single vial,” Dr. Oreola Donini, senior vice president and Chief Scientific Officer of Soligenix, said. “Elements of this vaccine platform have been utilized in our ricin toxin, filovirus, and COVID-19 vaccine candidates, indicating its broad applicability.”

Chris Galford

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