Developing a preventive vaccine regimen to tackle Ebola
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson announced the first major regulatory approval of a vaccine developed by Janssen for the prevention of Ebola. Nikki Withers spoke with the Global Head of Vaccines, Johan Van Hoof, to discover what technologies were used and how they are now being leveraged to develop a vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19.
Ebola virus disease, formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a rare but severe, often fatal, illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in humans through human-to-human transmission.1 In 2014, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson committed to accelerating the development of a vaccine regimen for the prevention of Ebola. “Up until 2014, Ebola outbreaks mainly happened in rural areas, but due to the high mortality associated with the virus and the fact that people get ill fairly early onwards, we quickly learned that with the right hygiene measures you could control an epidemic quite well,” said Johan Van Hoof, Global Head of Vaccines at Janssen. However, in 2014 the worst Ebola outbreak to date occurred in West Africa, which caused nearly 30,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths in 2014-2016.2
Bavarian Nordic, Becton Dickinson, Charles River, EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, The European Commission (EC), US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)