Updated
November 4th, 2019

Lassa Fever Vaccine Candidate Launched Phase 1 Study

MV-LASV vaccine candidate is based on the backbone of the measles Schwarz virus strain for prophylaxis of Lassa infection

west african hut village

Austria and Norway researchers announced the 1st administration to study volunteers of a vaccine candidate against Lassa fever.

The MV-LASV Lassa fever vaccine candidate is based on Themis Bioscience’s proprietary measles vector platform and exclusively-licensed discoveries made at Institut Pasteur. 

This is important news since there is currently no vaccine that protects people against Lassa fever.

The phase 1 clinical trial for the MV-LASV Lassa fever vaccine program is funded through a global partnership with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) that will support the vaccine’s development up to the end of Phase 2, which is designed to provide clinical safety and immunogenicity of MV-LASV after administration of 2 different dose levels.

The MV-LASV vaccine candidate is a recombinant, live-attenuated, viral vectored vaccine, based on the backbone of the measles Schwarz virus strain for prophylaxis of Lassa infection. 

Dr. Melanie Saville, Director of Vaccine Development at CEPI added in a press release, “This first-in-human trial for Themis’ MV-LASV Lassa candidate is an important first step in its evaluation in the clinic and toward developing an effective vaccine which will be available to at-risk populations during outbreaks of this deadly emerging infectious disease.”

The study, sponsored and led by Themis, is being conducted by the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination in Antwerp, Belgium, under the direction of Pierre Van Damme, MD, Ph.D., Professor at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Recent Lassa virus vaccine news

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Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever, is an acute viral disease that occurs mostly in West Africa, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Lassa virus infection in West Africa is estimated to affect 300,000 people annually, resulting in approximately 5,000 fatalities.

The virus can spread from person-to-person via bodily fluids and causes a range of symptoms including vomiting, swelling of the face, bleeding, and pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, said the company. 

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organizations launched in Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has reached over US$750 million of its $1 billion funding target. Learn more at CEPI.

Themis is developing immunomodulation therapies for infectious diseases and cancer through an advanced understanding of immune system mechanisms. For more information, visit ThemisBio.

Lassa Virus vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations