June 24, 2018
Health Latest News | Poll Questions | Border Patrol | Energy Scam | Toxic Moths

Canada-based Immunovaccine Inc. says test of Ebola vaccine promising

Medicins Sans Frontieres health workers disinfect protection clothes and boots outside the isolation unit at ELWA hospital during the visit of Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola David Nabarro, not pictured, in Monrovia Aug. 23, 2014. As the outbreak has spread across borders from its initial epicentre in Guinea, governments in the region have introduced increasingly strict travel restrictions. Ivory Coast has closed its land borders Guinea and Liberia to try to prevent the virus from crossing onto its territory, the government announced late on Friday.
By Rod Nickel, Reuters

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Four monkeys survived the Ebola virus after being injected with a vaccine that included Immunovaccine Inc.’s technology, the Canadian company said on Monday, and the announcement sent its stock soaring.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company said four monkeys received the vaccine and later survived a dose of Ebola virus that normally would have been lethal. Two other animals that did not receive the vaccine died within a week.

Immunovaccine, which had a market capitalization of about $77 million as of Friday, is one of a handful of companies involved in testing potential vaccines for the Ebola virus, which has killed nearly 1,500 people in West Africa.

Its Ebola program started a few months ago, after the U.S. National Institutes of Health asked Immunovaccine Inc. to apply technology from the company’s anthrax vaccine to Ebola. The work was part of NIH tests on possible antigens, substances that cause the immune system to produce antibodies against Ebola.

Unlike antigens in some other early-stage Ebola vaccines, Immunovaccine Inc.’s antigen does not use a live virus to carry the vaccine into cells.

The company has not disclosed the nature of its antigen.

Generally, it “presents those vaccines to the immune system in a slightly different way so that the immune system processes the vaccine a lot better, and as a result produces stronger immunity to that target,” Chief Executive Marc Mansour said in an interview.

He said the company is exploring options to develop the vaccine with various organizations, but would not identify them. Assuming it strikes the partnerships it needs to continue development, clinical trials could start as early as next year, he said.

Other companies testing Ebola vaccines include U.S.-based NewLink Genetics Corp, which holds the license for a vaccine developed by the Canadian government, privately held Profectus BioSciences and British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Immunovaccine is also developing therapies for cancer.

Its stock on the TSX Venture Exchange jumped as much as 44 percent after a trading halt, and was up 16.5 percent at $1.13 in afternoon trading.


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like