OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Health officials say that the next phase of clinical trials for a promising Ebola vaccine (VSV-EBOV) originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada will begin later this fall.
As part of this next phase, the vaccine will be tested on volunteers seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The goal of this new clinical trial is to test evidence on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness at building a protective immune response among HIV-positive people.
“It is particularly important to study the effectiveness of this Ebola vaccine in vulnerable populations, such as those living with HIV,” said Dr. Cécile Tremblay, who led the development of the protocol for this study. “These populations can often be most at-risk during outbreaks, because of their compromised immune systems.”
The study will build on existing results demonstrating the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. This includes promising results from the 2014 Phase 1 trials in Canada, a Phase 2 trial on front-line health workers, and a Phase 3 ring-vaccination trial in Guinea during the Ebola outbreak. Initial results from the ring-vaccination trial in Guinea were originally published in The Lancet in July 2015, with final results expected later in fall 2016.
The study is to be managed by the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN), with trial sites in Ottawa, Montreal, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Principal investigator Dr. Tremblay (Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montreal) and coordinating principal investigator Dr. Joanne Langley (Dalhousie University) will co-lead the Canada-Africa collaborative research team.
The Ebola vaccine trial continues to be facilitated and supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The first Canadian vaccinations are anticipated for November 2016, with trials beginning in Africa next year.