BBJ: West Africa Ebola Outbreak Pushes Baltimore Company's Research into Warp Speed
Thursday, November 6, 2014
A few years ago Baltimore vaccine developer Profectus BioSciences couldn't convince anyone to help pay for its Ebola vaccine research. Now money is flowing in by the millions.
So far this year Profectus has received close to $50 million in federal grants to advance its research and development of an Ebola vaccine, more than three times the amount it has received for the vaccine since the company began developing it about five years ago. The new funding, and the pressing global need, mean that Profectus can begin clinical trials in July on an expedited timeline and could have a vaccine ready in 18 months.
"We always anticipated we would move forward with our Ebola vaccine, but never at the pace we're going now," said CEO Jeffrey Meshulam.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has thrust the infectious disease and Profectus' vaccine into the spotlight. But the influx of money will propel Profectus' work even after its Ebola vaccine is completed. Several other vaccines the company is developing use the same platform, which means trials for the Ebola vaccine, if successful, could help move along other vaccines.