Partnership Addresses Rift Valley Fever Vaccine

July 17, 2019
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The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is partnering with Colorado State University to develop a single-dose vaccine candidate against Rift Valley Fever.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced a partnering agreement with Colorado State University (CSU) to develop a single-dose vaccine candidate (DDVax) against Rift Valley Fever (RVF), a virus transmitted by mosquitoes and blood-feeding flies that kills one in every 100 people it infects. The World Health Organization has classified RVF as a priority pathogen in need of R & D investment.

The virus affects animals, including cattle, goats, and sheep, and humans living in pastoral communities, primarily in low-income and middle-income countries. In addition to transmission by insects, infection can occur through direct contact with the blood, tissues, or organs of infected animals. RVF causes severe symptoms in those infected.

The DDVax works to remove the key genes of the virus that allow it to cause RVF. The vaccine stimulates the body’s immune system to generate neutralizing antibodies against the RVF virus and generates a significant cellular immune response that can kill infected cells, according to the press statement.

“We’re delighted to partner with Colorado State University to develop a human vaccine against Rift Valley fever virus,” said Richard Hatchett CEO of CEPI in the press statement. “This vaccine will be the 24th candidate to join CEPI’s portfolio. Rift Valley fever has substantial epidemic potential. The world needs to accelerate its efforts to develop a vaccine against this deadly virus, and that’s exactly what we aim to achieve through this collaboration. By supporting the development of Rift Valley fever vaccines, CEPI hopes to improve global health security and strengthen the world’s epidemic-preparedness capacity.”

“We are excited to partner with CEPI and to work towards manufacturing a Rift Valley fever vaccine for humans,” said Alan Rudolph,vice president for Research at CSU in the press statement. “Our team and UC Davis are well-positioned to develop this much-needed medical countermeasure to reduce suffering and mortality from this disease.”

Source: CEPI