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OET Receives £1.4M UK Contract to Develop Vaccine for Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever Virus

CCHFv vaccine - transition from preclinical to clinical studies

Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever virus (CCHFv) is endemic in >30 countries, almost all Low Middle Income Countries (LMICs) in Africa, the Balkans, Middle East and Asia with an estimated 3 billion people at risk. The expanding geographic range of the tick host along with trade in infected but asymptomatic livestock is fuelling the spread of CCHFv. Virus outbreaks often occur in agricultural areas in workers with close contact with animals, spreading to family members and health workers. Thus CCHFv, along with some of the world's other deadliest diseases, affects areas least able to deal with them or afford vaccine development. There is

no vaccine, nor effective treatment or standardised diagnostic assay.

There are 10-15,000 cases annually; 1 in 8 develop severe disease with mortality rates between 10 and 40% (WHO). Survivors typically experience long term debilitating symptoms that have additional socio-economic impacts. CCHFv is sixth on the WHO list of viruses with pandemic potential for which no vaccine or therapy exists. The disease is already a major health concern in Turkey with isolated cases spreading northwards into Southern Europe, which is being

made worse by the increasing geographical spread of the tick vector caused by climate change.

Through Innovate UK, OET has been awarded a £1.4M UK Vaccine Network grant to develop an affordable and effective vaccine for CCHFv using its platform technologies for producing high quality viral glycoproteins, in insect cells. In this two year project, OET will finalise the conditions for manufacture of CCHFv Gc and Gn at scale and transfer the technology to a GMP manufacturing facility. In collaboration with UKHSA, OET will also beta test a CCHFv diagnostic assay with partners from LMIC countries including Turkey, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. A standardised CCHFv assay is urgently needed in LMICs and will be needed by us to screen participants for a futurePhase II Clinical Trial.

This research was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the

UK Vaccine Network (UKVN), a UK Aid programme to develop vaccines for diseases

with epidemic potential in LMICs.

About the UK Vaccine Network:

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is the UK Government department

which is responsible for helping people to live more independent, healthier lives for longer.

This investment is part of the UK Vaccine Network (UKVN). UKVN was established to

provide funding to support the development of promising vaccines and vaccine technologies

that will help combat infectious diseases that have epidemic potential in low and middle-

income countries (LMICs). UKVN is an UK Aid investment, which means all projects funded

must support research primarily and directly for the benefit of people in low- and middle-

income countries (LMICs).

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