April 17, 2024

We live in a world where today’s outbreak can easily become tomorrow’s pandemic. Vaccines can change that.

Better outbreak preparedness is a global priority. IAVI and our partners are developing vaccine candidates for several emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). Our goal is to develop and test vaccines that are needed to prepare for future and ongoing outbreaks.

Using proven vaccine technology can accelerate vaccine development for outbreak pathogens (source: The Lancet Global Health). IAVI’s EID vaccine candidates are built on the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vaccine platform. VSV is already the backbone of a single-dose Zaire Ebolavirus vaccine that has been used extensively for immunizing adults and children. It’s licensed in more than a dozen countries (source: WHO Vaccine Prioritization Working Group).

We’re targeting priority pathogens

IAVI’s EID vaccine candidates all address viruses that are likely to cause public health emergencies of international concern. These viruses are all listed as priority pathogens by the U.S. National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. These EIDs are all zoonotic, or animal-borne, and emerged in humans through a complex biological process known as spillover. Spillover events are increasing with the effects of climate change (source: Emerg Infect Dis. 2023 Mar; 29(3): e221079.).

Expand the entries below to learn more about these pathogens.

Ebola icon

Sudan Ebolavirus // Filovirus family // Fruit bat origin

Fast facts

  • No vaccine available; VSV Ebola Zaire vaccine doesn’t protect against Sudan species
  • Category A priority pathogen
  • Causes severe hemorrhagic fever (Ebola disease)
  • Recurring outbreaks in Uganda and South Sudan
  • 50% average case fatality rate
  • 164 cases and 55 deaths in 2022 outbreak in Uganda

WHO fact sheet

Key partners

  • U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority


Lassa Fever icon

Lassa virus // Arenavirus family // Rodent origin

Fast facts

  • No vaccine available
  • Category A priority pathogen
  • Causes severe hemorrhagic fever (Lassa virus disease)
  • Endemic to West Africa; spreads when infected persons travel outside the region
  • 100,000-300,000 cases and 5,000 deaths annually (actual number thought to be higher)
  • Particularly harmful during pregnancy

WHO fact sheet

Key partners

  • Batavia (manufacturing)
  • Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
  • European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership
  • The Partnership for Research on Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in Liberia
  • U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority

Safety & immunogenicity data on Lassa fever vaccine candidate


Marburg icon

Marburg virus // Filovirus family // Monkey origin

Fast facts

  • No vaccine available
  • Category A priority pathogen
  • Causes severe hemorrhagic fever (Marburg virus disease)
  • Most frequently emerges in Uganda and Kenya; emerging rapidly in other countries
  • 50% average case fatality rate
  • Potential bioweapon

WHO fact sheet

Key partners

  • U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority
  • U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency


COVID icon

SARS-CoV-2 // Coronavirus family // Unknown origin

Fast facts

  • Effective vaccines available; new formulations needed as virus evolves
  • Category C priority pathogen
  • Caused COVID-19 pandemic (ongoing)
  • Vaccine availability and uptake globally are uneven and marked by disparities
  • More than 760 million cases and 6.9 million deaths in the first four years of the pandemic
  • Can cause serious long-term health effects (long COVID)

WHO fact sheet

Key partners

  • U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency
  • Government of Japan





We’re strengthening local capacity and global preparedness for epidemic response

IAVI advances in the individual, institutional, and technical capacity needed to accelerate EID vaccine research and development:

  • We don’t know the true disease burden of most EIDs due to lack of surveillance. IAVI has conducted the largest study of Lassa fever incidence in Sierra Leone in harmony with the ENABLE cohort study.
  • Scientists at the U.S.-based IAVI Vaccine Design & Development Laboratory are leading experts in VSV vaccine design. This team first honed its skills in HIV and now also designs IAVI’s EID VSV vaccine candidates. Watch this video on how VSV vaccines work.
  • Scientists at the U.K.-based IAVI Human Immunology Laboratory (HIL) are expert developers of tests (assays) designed to measure human immune responses in clinical trials. HIL staff partner with clinical research institutions in West Africa to enhance local capacity for assessing clinical trial volunteers’ immune responses to IAVI’s EID vaccine candidates.
  • The Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa (LEAP4WA) program is advancing IAVI’s Lassa fever vaccine candidate into the later stages. It’s a multidisciplinary consortium of seven leading research institutions in Africa, Europe, and North America.
  • Communities are the backbone of vaccine research. IAVI’s community engagement team partners with local organizations to inform our clinical trial designs.
  • We collaborate closely with the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, a group of experts in endemic countries.


Learn more about IAVI’s EID portfolio:

link

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