J&J reports promising Ebola vaccine data

HEALTH & SCIENCE |

The Johnson & Johnson logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US. [Reuters]

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Monday its Ebola vaccine regimen demonstrated antibody immune responses in adults and children, citing data published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The two-dose regimen was well-tolerated and induced antibody responses to the Zaire ebolavirus species 21 days after the second dose in 98% of all participants, the company said, citing data from a late-stage trial.

The regimen, Zabdeno and Mvabea, generated immune responses that persisted in adults for at least two years.

J&J added that there were no safety signals of concern.

"These peer-reviewed data support the prophylactic use of the Johnson & Johnson Ebola vaccine regimen to protect people at risk of Ebola, which is essential to our vision of preventing Ebola outbreaks before they can begin," J&J's Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said.

The company added that a booster shot administered two years after the initial vaccination induced a strong immune response within seven days.

Ebola typically kills about half of those it infects, although vaccines and new treatments have proven highly effective in reducing fatality rates.

Last month, the World Health Organisation warned that on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Africa is facing new outbreaks of the viral haemorrhagic fevers Marburg and Ebola, risking huge strains on ill-equipped health systems.

J&J's vaccine regimen had received European approval in July 2020 and prequalification from the WHO, which allows medicines to be procured by developing countries, in April 2021.

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