CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Health Vaccines, LLC (PHV), a biotechnology company out of Cambridge, MA, has been awarded the first two options under its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) contract for the advanced development of its vaccine candidate designed to prevent Marburg virus infections. PHV is leveraging the proven recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) vector platform originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever filovirus closely related to Ebola and is responsible for sporadic outbreaks, most often in Africa. Once in humans, transmission is through person-to-person contact with a fatality rate for Marburg disease as high as 90%.1 Currently, there are no licensed vaccines available to prevent this fatal infection. In addition to being a naturally occurring public health threat, it has been identified as a potential bioterrorism threat by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
PHV was originally awarded a 2-year, $10 million base contract in February of 2019 by the BARDA, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under contract #HHSO100201900022C. Under this agreement with BARDA, PHV advanced the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate. This most recent award adds more than $12 million to the contract and will further advance the vaccine candidate to advanced development and clinical testing. If PHV development efforts continue successfully, BARDA has the option to provide additional funding for a total of up to $72 million to continue development through Phase 2 clinical testing. In addition, the contract includes a parallel development plan option for an rVSV vaccine against Sudan ebolavirus, a closely related hemorrhagic fever virus.
PHV Chief Business Officer Michael McGinnis stated, "We are grateful to continue our collaboration with BARDA and look forward to advancing our promising candidate vaccine towards the clinic. The past year has taught everyone that having solutions to potential future public health threats is imperative."
PHV is continuing its strategic partnership with Crozet BioPharma, LLC and Latham BioPharm Group, Inc., allowing for the same team of industry veterans with years of vaccine development and program management experience to continue forward in this program. This includes the exact functional expertise, and in many cases the same personnel, that successfully managed and executed the development of the rVSV Ebola vaccine.
About Public Health Vaccines, LLC Public Health Vaccines, LLC. (PHV), headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a privately-held biotechnology company developing vaccines for the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases. The company's initial focus is to develop vaccines against Marburg virus and Sudan ebolavirus utilizing the rVSV platform. PHV is also developing a vaccine against Nipah virus, in collaboration with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) utilizing the same rVSV platform.