The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded BioProtection Systems a contract with $24.75 million in base funds to support commercial manufacturing tests of the company’s anti-Ebola vaccine.
HHS said Tuesday said the tests will work to validate whether manufacturing processes created under a previous contract would produce enough V920 vaccines in the event of an Ebola outbreaks.
Funds from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will also support efforts to license the vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
HHS stated that the contract includes options to extend for an additional five years worth $75.98 million for additional safety research and analysis on the effectivity of the vaccine when commercially produced.
“The Ebola epidemic of 2014 and 2015 was just the latest outbreak of this potentially deadly disease and we cannot predict when or where the next outbreak will occur,“ said Richard Hatchett, HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority acting director.
“We can prevent future epidemics by acting quickly and decisively to complete development of Ebola vaccines and treatments for use worldwide.”
BPS and Merck applied findings from past clinical studies carried out during the recent West Africa Ebola outbreak for the development of the V920 and believe those results indicate this vaccine could protect against future infections.
Canada’s Public Health Agency, the National Institutes of Health‘s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Defense Department have provided funds to BARDA in support of the V920 initiative.