Johnson & Johnson has set up a new research powerhouse to accelerate work on its experimental Ebola vaccine, underpinned by an external grant totalling 100 million Euros. 

The healthcare giant said European public-private partnership the Innovative Medicines Initiative is handing over the cash to its new research consortia of leading global research institutions and non-government organisations, to support development, manufacturing and patient education for the Ebola vaccine regimen being developed by Janssen. 

The funds will support several consortia working across four projects - three of which are designed to address the need to accelerate Phase I, II and III trials and scale-up production of the prime-boost vaccine regimen, while a fourth will investigate innovative ways and technology to raise awareness and acceptance of vaccination campaigns. “

This is an opportunity to make sure that this is the last Ebola epidemic in which our only tools to control it are isolation and quarantine,” noted Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, one of the consortia partners. 

Earlier this month, J&J said Janssen had kicked off of a Phase I, first-in-human clinical trial of a preventive Ebola vaccine, led by the Oxford Vaccine Group, part of the University of Oxford Department of Paediatrics. 

Recruitment is underway, with enrollment expected to be completed by the end of this month.

*Organisations joining J&J include the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), La Centre Muraz, Bavarian Nordic A/S, Vibalogics, Grameen Foundation and World Vision of Ireland.