The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has exercised the third contract option, valued at $34.5 million, under the 2019 contract to advance the development of vaccines against Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses through Phase 2 clinical trials.
In September 2019, BARDA awarded Sabin a development contract, valued up to $128 million, and has already provided funding of $40.5 million. This third contract option will enable continued nonclinical efficacy and safety studies, Phase 2 clinical trials in Africa, and vaccine manufacturing processes to ensure quality and safety.
In August, a case of Marburg disease was confirmed in the West African country of Guinea where the Ministry of Health officially declared an outbreak of Marburg.1 This recent case, as well as Marburg’s history of outbreaks and their potential for future devastating outbreaks, demonstrates that preventative measures are overdue to protect civilian populations, military personnel, first responders, health care workers and laboratory workers, both in the United States and abroad, against these emerging infectious diseases.
Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses are closely related to Ebola Zaire virus, which has caused more than 2,200 deaths since 2018, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Like Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan and Marburg are among the world’s deadliest viruses, causing hemorrhagic fever with subsequent death in an average of 50 percent of cases.2,3
“Even as the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, disease caused by Ebola Sudan and Marburg viruses continue to be a serious threat, as we have seen with the recent outbreak of Marburg in Guinea. We are grateful for BARDA’s continued support of Sabin’s efforts to advance vaccines against these deadly viruses,” said Sabin Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan. “We also thank our partners at the Vaccine Research Center of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for their continued collaboration, and GSK for their earlier work on the candidates.”
The two candidate vaccines, based on GSK’s proprietary ChAd3 platform, were exclusively licensed to the Sabin Vaccine Institute from GSK in 2019.
This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under contract number 75A50119C00055.
 West Africa’s first-ever case of Marburg virus disease confirmed in Guinea, Accessed September 7, 2021 – available at: https://www.afro.who.int/news/west-africas-first-ever-case-marburg-virus-disease-confirmed-guinea
 WHO fact sheet, Ebola virus disease, accessed September 7, 2021 – available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ebola-virus-disease
 WHO fact sheet, Marburg virus disease, accessed September 7, 2021 – available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/marburg-virus-disease
About the Sabin Vaccine Institute
The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with more than two decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit www.sabin.org and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.
About Ebola Sudan and Marburg
Ebola Sudan and Marburg are members of the Filoviridae virus family and are commonly referred to as filoviruses. Both can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. No therapeutic treatment of the hemorrhagic fevers caused by filoviruses has been licensed to date. Marburg and Ebola viruses are transmitted to humans by infected animals, particularly fruit bats. Once a human is infected, the virus can spread to others through close personal contact or contact with bodily fluids. Isolation of infected people is currently the centerpiece of filovirus control.
Marburg was the first filovirus to be recognized in 1967 when a number of laboratory workers, including some in Marburg, Germany, developed hemorrhagic fever. Ebola was identified in 1976 when two simultaneous outbreaks occurred in northern Zaire (now the DRC) in a village near the Ebola River and southern Sudan. The outbreaks involved what eventually proved to be two different species of Ebola virus; both were named after the nations in which they were discovered.