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Ebola: University of Siena launches major research project

Florence – A new research project on immune response, in adults and children, to the vaccine against Ebola VSV-ZEBOV has been launched in Siena. As stated in a note, the VSV-EBOPLUS project, coordinated by the Sclavo Vaccines Association with the participation of the University of Siena, will last five years and will receive a total funding of more than 15 million Euros, coming from the European program “Innovative Medicines Initiative 2” (IMI2), a partnership agreement between the European Union (Horizon 2020) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). As part of the funding, the University of Siena will receive 1.6 million Euros. The aim of the VSV-EBOPLUS project is to decipher the immuno- and molecular imprinting stimulated in adults and children by the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine, which is the only one that, in Phase III clinical trials, has already proven safe and effective against the disease caused by the Ebola virus. Donata Medaglini, coordinator of the research project on behalf of the University of Siena and of the Sclavo Vaccines Association, explains: “So far, the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine is the only one that has proved to be effective on adults. Therefore, through the new VSV-EBOPLUS project, it will be important to investigate the immunological aspects not only on adults but also, for the first time, on children, which constitute a particularly vulnerable part of the population. This study, which will be conducted on a large number of clinical samples from vaccinated individuals in several age groups and from different continents, will significantly boost the development and use of a safe and effective Ebola vaccine”.

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