To increase national health security against biothreats and protect public health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will partner with Public Health Vaccines LLC of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to develop a potential vaccine against Marburg virus. No licensed vaccine for this virus exists today.

The Marburg virus is part of the family of hemorrhagic fever viruses that includes Ebola. The virus causes a similar illness to that of Ebola, and occurs most often in Africa. The Marburg virus was recognized in 1967 and since then multiple outbreaks have occurred with high mortality rates, most recently  in 2017. In addition to the threat of naturally occurring infection, the Marburg virus, like Ebola, is deemed a potential bioterrorism threat by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, awarded an initial two-year, $10 million contract to Public Health Vaccines LLC to begin development of a vaccine to protect against Marburg infection.

Read the full story here.