Yisheng Biopharma and the USAMRIID announce positive animal results for Ebola vaccine

The Ebola VLP vaccine was developed by USAMRIID developed the Ebola VLP vaccine, while PIKA is a proprietary product from Yisheng Biopharma

Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Yisheng Biopharma and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) have announced preliminary positive animal results of a virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccine in combination with PIKA adjuvant, a Toll-Like Receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist.

This study was conducted by the scientists at USAMRIID under a cooperative partnership between the two institutions announced last December. The Ebola VLP vaccine was developed by USAMRIID developed the Ebola VLP vaccine, while PIKA is a proprietary product from Yisheng Biopharma.

In this study, the scientists at USAMRIID evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of their VLP vaccine candidate in a murine model with or without PIKA adjuvant against Ebola virus infection in a laboratory setting.

Under the virus challenge study, the group of animals vaccinated without PIKA adjuvant demonstrated 40% protection measured by the survival rate, while the animals vaccinated with PIKA adjuvant showed 100% protection at both high and low dose levels of the PIKA adjuvant. The superior survival rate with PIKA adjuvant was consistent with production of significantly higher antigen-specific antibody titres in comparison with vaccination with VLP alone.

This study provides a solid foundation for us to conduct further studies in exploring safer and more effective vaccine products against Ebola virus infection

'This is the first time we have evaluated the performance of PIKA adjuvant in combination with our VLP vaccine candidate against Ebola virus infection,' said Dr Sina Bavari, Science Director at USAMRIID.

'This study provides a solid foundation for us to conduct further studies in exploring safer and more effective vaccine products against Ebola virus infection, which remains a significant unmet medical need.'

'We are very excited to see the first efficacy evidence of our PIKA adjuvant from USAMRIID scientists in Ebola vaccine development. This opens an exciting new arena in identifying clinical candidate Ebola vaccines. We look forward to seeing more data from USAMRIID,' added Yi Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Yisheng Biopharma.

Zhang said the PIKA adjuvant has demonstrated good safety and robust efficacy in completed and ongoing human trials of PIKA-adjuvanted rabies vaccine. The PIKA adjuvant has also exhibited potential in preclinical studies in vaccines against HIV, Hepatitis-B, influenza, tuberculosis, and other viruses. The company's Phase II PIKA rabies vaccine trial is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year.