Marburg virus (MARV) is a hemorrhagic fever virus closely related to Ebola and is responsible for sporadic outbreaks, most often in Africa. In addition to being a naturally occurring public health threat, it has been identified as a potential bioterrorism threat by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
PHV is leveraging the proven recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) vector platform originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to develop a single-dose vaccine against Marburg Virus. The use of VSV as a live, replicating, attenuated vaccine vector platform is supported by clinical trials and outbreak use of the rVSV Zaire Ebola vaccine involving more than 50,000 people, and nonclinical data indicating that rVSV filovirus vaccines may also be effective for post-exposure prophylaxis. An important feature of rVSV vaccines is the rapid onset of protection after a single dose.
PHV is collaborating with the United States Government under an advanced development contract with Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). If development continues to succeed, BARDA has the option to provide funding for a total of up to $72 million to continue development through Phase 2 clinical testing.
MARV is a member of the Filoviridae family of viruses and considered a select agent that is a Risk Group 4 Pathogen (WHO), Category A Priority Pathogen (NIH/NIAID) and Category A Bioterrorism Agent (CDC). The rVSV-MARV vaccine candidate represents an ideal solution to significant public health and biodefense challenges. The technology has been shown effective in primate models both pre- and post-exposure for the targeted indications, and the manufacturing, safety, and regulatory pathways have been demonstrated for a similar indication.