The Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public Health is one of 12 sites
testing a new vaccine to prevent anthrax. The phase II
trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenic response of
a new recombinant anthrax vaccine, known as rPA102. The
vaccine candidate consists of recombinant protective
antigen, a synthetic protein that induces antibodies
designed to prevent illness by neutralizing anthrax toxins,
and aluminum hydroxide to enhance the immune response.
Different formulations of rPA102 will be given to 480
healthy volunteers. Each formulation will contain varying
concentrations of rPA.
"The goal of this study is to determine the optimal
combination to induce the most robust immune response,"
said David Taylor, the lead investigator of the anthrax
vaccine evaluation at the School of Public Health and a
research professor with the
Department of International Health. "If this vaccine
candidate is successful, it could provide a safer vaccine
for preventing anthrax with a more practical dosing
schedule compared to the existing vaccine," he added. The
current anthrax vaccine requires six doses administered
over an 18-month period.
The new vaccine candidate was developed by VaxGen and
is based on research conducted by the U.S. Army Medical
Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The study is
funded by an $80.3 million contract from the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part
of the National Institutes of Health.
Additional studies will determine the optimal dosing
schedule for the anthrax vaccine candidate for both
prevention and treatment after exposure to anthrax
The School of Public Health is looking for qualified
volunteers to take part in the anthrax vaccine trial.
Anyone wishing to participate may call 410-614-9702.