Bavarian Nordic Receives NIH Grant to Investigate the Potential of an MVA-BN® based Vaccine against Ebola and Marburg Viruses
Kvistgård, Denmark, October 13, 2010 - Bavarian Nordic A/S (OMX: BAVA) announced today that the company has received funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance its early research in filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg virus).
As previously announced, the company is investigating the potential use of its core vaccine technology, MVA-BN® as a combined vaccine encoding genes for both the Ebola and Marburg strains. The funding from NIH will support an animal efficacy study performed in non-human primates.
Upon evaluation of the initial data from this study, which are expected next year, Bavarian Nordic will determine the future of this project in the company's pipeline.
Bavarian Nordic's President & CEO, Anders Hedegaard commented: "This research grant is yet another sign of the continued strong relationship between Bavarian Nordic and the US government. We have already successfully advanced the development our IMVAMUNE® smallpox vaccine under a fully-funded programme from the US government and with continued support and funding from the US authorities, we are committed to developing innovative vaccines against other potential biological weapons like anthrax, Ebola and Marburg as well. Also, with this initiative we fulfil part of our short term goal to investigate new opportunities to expand the pipeline within our Infectious Disease Division."
Filoviruses belong to a virus family called Filoviridaeand can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. So far, only two members of this virus family have been identified: Marburg virus and Ebola virus.
Both diseases are rare, but have a capacity to cause dramatic outbreaks with high fatality. Outbreaks of the diseases have been frequently reported since the discovery of the viruses around 40 years ago, mainly in Africa where the viruses have their origin.
Due to their severe fatality rate and ease of transmission, both viruses are considered potential biological weapons.
Currently, there exists no standard treatment or vaccine against the diseases.