In March 2018 we announced a partnership agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI’s mission is to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics. The agreement will fund the development of vaccine candidates for Lassa fever and MERS, respectively, and will advance those vaccine candidates up to human proof-of-concept and safety studies.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is caused by the MERS-Corona virus, part of the same family of viruses that causes the common cold and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). It is transmitted from animals to humans and can be further transmitted by person to person contact. Symptoms include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, which can lead to death.
Lassa fever is also known as Lassa haemorrhagic fever. The Lassa virus is transferred to humans from animals, most commonly by the Mastomys rodent. The virus can spread from person to person via bodily fluids and causes a range of symptoms including vomiting, swelling of the face, bleeding, and pain in the chest, back and abdomen.