OHSU discovery leads to clinical trials of West Nile virus vaccine

OHSU has discovered and developed a novel investigational vaccine aimed at preventing West Nile virus, which poses a significant public health threat in the U.S. The vaccine, developed by scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, is beginning evaluations in a NIH-sponsored Phase 1, first-in-human, clinical trial at Duke University. No West Nile virus human vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use.

Mark Slifka, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine and senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and his colleagues have worked with immunologists, vaccinologists, virologists, regulatory consultants, and manufacturing experts – with support from the FDA and NIH – to bring the vaccine platform to the clinical trial stage.  More about the specifics of the clinical trial are available here.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne human pathogen that has become endemic in North America and causes substantial disease and death. Thousands of West Nile virus infections have occurred in the U.S. since 1999. A total of 47 states and the District of Columbia reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunocompromised and elderly individuals are especially vulnerable.

Read the news release in its entirety here.

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