Johnson & Johnson – the manufacturer of everything from Listerine mouthwash to your baby’s favorite shampoo – announced in September that it has initiated accelerated vaccine development for Ebola virus. Johnson & Johnson’s Crucell NV and Denmark-based biotech company, Bavarian Nordic, are developing vaccines to combat filovirus infection, with Ebola at the top of their priority list. The aim is to bring the Johnson & Johnson Ebola virus vaccine regimen to clinical trials by early 2015 – a goal met with some skepticism as this target date exceeds the projected date by one year.
The proposed vaccine program would have a prime-boost model, with two doses (the first “prime” dose, and the second “boost” dose). The companies’ spokespeople argue that preclinical studies show promising levels of protection against this virus. Without sufficiently effective Ebola virus treatment, prevention is critical. We’ll have to wait and see, but hopefully we’ll have a viable vaccine sometime in the relatively new future.
- Emma Rastatter