GSK promise hepatitis C shot shows, bodes well for Ebola vaccines

Scientists at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg prepare an experimental Ebola vaccine for shipment to the World Health Organization

London: A new hepatitis C vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline based on the same technology as an experimental Ebola shot being fast-tracked through human trials has shown promise in early clinical tests, prompting strong and broad immune responses.

Researchers testing the vaccine — the first hepatitis C vaccine to reach second stage clinical trials — said their results in a group of 15 healthy human volunteers showed it was very safe and well tolerated, and generated immune responses of a strength never seen before in a vaccine against this disease.

“This is as good at it could be for a first go, and I`m optimistic that it will work (in second stage trials),” said Ellie Barnes, a professor at Britain`s Oxford University who led the initial human tests.

She said results also bode well for GSK`s experimental Ebola vaccine currently being tested in healthy volunteers in Britain, Africa and the United States, as well as another experimental Ebola shot from Johnson & Johnson.

CLEAR THE VIRUS

The first, or prime, vaccine is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus called ChAd3 developed by the Italian biotech firm Okairos — now owned by GSK — to which genes encoding four proteins from hepatitis C are added.

The second, or boost, vaccine adds the same four hepatitis C genes to a different viral vaccine base — a so-called modified vaccininia Ankara (MVA) virus.

Leading drugmakers said last month they will work together to speed the development of an Ebola vaccine designed to help beat a vast epidemic of the disease which has killed more than 5,000 people, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Clinical tests on GSK`s vaccine and another from NewLink Genetics are under way, while human tests on J&J`s vaccine will start in January.

Source by : Zee Health News

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