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The devastating 2013-2015 outbreak of Ebola Virus disease in West Africa provided the impetus for acceleration of multiple programmes of Ebola Vaccine development.

The devastating 2013-2016 outbreak of Ebola Virus disease in West Africa provided the impetus for acceleration of multiple programmes of Ebola Vaccine development.

The vaccine trial units at Oxford played a key role in the early development of vaccines against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), having given the ‘first in human’ dose for four of the five vaccines tested in West Africa during the outbreak.  The Oxford Vaccine Group has continued to make a major contribution to Ebola vaccine development as Phase 1 and 2 studies have been completed and follow-on studies evaluating the persistence of the immune response are in progress. These data are essential to the global community’s understanding of how these vaccines can be best deployed to curtail future outbreaks of this devastating illness.

OVG Ebola Vaccines Programme

Completed Ebola vaccine studies One of the Ebola vaccine development programmes studied two different vaccines given in a ‘prime/boost’ schedule. Both of these vaccines used a ‘viral vector’ technology, in which genes encoding for key Ebola virus proteins were inserted into non-replicating (multiplying), non-pathogenic viruses: adenovirus 26 (Ad26) and modified vaccinia Ankara MVA).

Two studies of these vaccines (Ad26.ZEBOV and MVA-BN-Filo) have been conducted at the Oxford Vaccine Group, both designed to obtain information about the safety and immune response in healthy adults. These Phase 1 and 2 studies were undertaken with funding from the EU Innovative Medicines Initiatve as part of the EBOVAC consortium.

The first-in-human Phase1 study, EVE, was conducted from December 2014 to May 2016, and enrolled 87 participants. The results from this study showed that immunisation with AD.26-ZEBOV Ad26.Zeboc is able to stimulate an immune response that is then boosted by administration of MVA-BN-Filo. No significant safety concerns were raised.

The Phase 2 study, EVOLVE, was conducted in collaboration with INSERM and enrolled 156 participants in Oxford from July 2015 to 2016. This study has also been completed and the data are being analysed.

Current and planned Ebola vaccine studies

As well as an ongoing study evaluating the long term safety of the vaccines used in EVE and EVOLVE, a.series of new studies of EBOLA vaccines in the UK and Senegal have been funded by INNOVATE UK.

In an ongoing study (PRISM) the persistence of the immune response to the Ebola vaccines given in EVE and EVOLVE is being evaluated 2-5 years after the original studies.  

Two additional follow-on studies will evaluate the persistence of the immune response in participants  2 to 5 years following immunisation with the candidate Ebola vaccines ChAd3-EBO Z and MVA-BN-Filo, and the response to a late booster dose of Ad26.ZEBOV.

The first of these (REVOLVE) will follow up participants from three Phase 1 studies carried out in the UK at the Oxford Vaccine Centre by the Jenner Institute. A second study (RESOLVE) will similarly follow up participants who took part in a phase 1 study in Senegal.

Ebola Vaccine studies worldwide

As part of the EBOVAC consortium the OVG is a key member of an international effort to develop a safe, effective Ebola vaccine. Studies of the Ad26-ZEBOV and MVA-BN-Filo vaccines continue in  multiple African countries and the USA, and additional studies to evaluate the effectiveness of this vaccine in the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo were recently recommended by the World Health Organisation Strategic Advisory Group of Experts.


KSMITH 19/06/2019

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