Crucell's PER.C6(R)-Based Vaccine Protects Monkeys From Ebola; Shares Rise
Dutch biotechnology company Crucell N.V. (Euronext:CRXL) (Nasdaq:CRXL) has announced that a single dose of its vaccine has completely protected monkeys against Ebola in recently performed studies. The monkey experiments were performed over the last six months by the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Crucell and NIAID produced a vaccine against Ebola, using Crucell's PER.C6(R) cell line as a production platform, confirming the encouraging results of a previous NIAID/USAMRIID trial of a prototype adenoviral vaccine reported in Nature in August 2003 (Ref: Nature 424(6949):681-84 (2003)). Crucell has a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the VRC to develop PER.C6(R)- and adenovirus vector-based vaccines against Ebola, Marburg and Lassa as well as a contract to produce such vaccines for clinical studies in humans. The vaccine is composed of replication-deficient Adenovirus 5, expressing Ebola antigens. It uses Crucell's production technology, also licensed exclusively to Merck for HIV.