IBT Receives a Partnership R01 grant from NIAID to Develop a Pan-Ebolavirus Vaccine

July 2017

A Structurally designed vaccine against all ebolaviruses

IBT and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) receive a collaborative Partnership R01 grant from NIH, entitled Rationally Designed Pan-Ebolavirus Vaccine.

A major challenge in the fight against filovirus infections is the fact that the nature of epidemics cannot be predicted.  Beside the Zaire strain of Ebolavirus other ebolaviruses such as Sudan virus, Bundibugyo virus as well as the more distant relative Marburg virus have caused highly lethal outbreaks.  Current experimental vaccines are strictly species-specific and do not provide broad protection against multiple ebolaviruses.

Under this 5-year partnership R01 grant IBT will work with the laboratories of Dr. Erica Saphire and Dr. William Schief at TSRI to rationally design engineered glycoprotein vaccines that provide protective efficacy against all ebolaviruses.  This innovative research is based on work performed in Dr. M. Javad Aman’s group at IBT and Dr. Erica Saphire laboratory at TSRI identifying and characterizing a novel set of broadly neutralizing ebolavirus glycoprotein antibodies, as well as pioneering novel engineering and epitope scaffolding approaches developed in Dr. Schief’s laboratory.  Under this grant a set of novel immunogens will be generated, characterized and tested for immunogenicity.  Vaccine candidates will be then tested in rodent and nonhuman primate models of Ebola, Sudan, and Bundibugyo virus infections.  Beside IBT and TSRI the work involves Dr. Kartik Chandran’s lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. John Dye’s lab at USAMRIID, Dr. Xiangguo Qiu lab at Public Health Agency of Canada, and Dr. Dorit Hanein at Sanford Burnham Prebys (SBP) Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego.