Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), and Marburg marburgvirus (MARV) are the most prevalent and pathogenic species of filovirus. Previously, we showed that glycoprotein antigens from each virus could be lyophilized to create thermostable monovalent subunit vaccines. However, cross-protection is not expected from the monovalent vaccines and therefore developing a trivalent filovirus vaccine would be desirable. Subunit protein vaccines often require the addition of an adjuvant to sufficiently boost the immunogenicity. Typically, liquid suspensions or emulsions of adjuvants and lyophilized antigens are stored in separate vials to avoid destabilizing interactions and are only mixed immediately before administration. Herein, we describe the development and characterization of monovalent and trivalent filovirus vaccines that are co-lyophilized with a squalane-in-water emulsion adjuvant. We found that the single-vial presentation retained adjuvant particle diameter and zeta potential after lyophilization and reconstitution. Furthermore, the trivalent vaccines elicited high antibody levels against all three antigens in mice and non-human primates. These results advance the prospect of developing a single-vial trivalent filovirus vaccine, which would enable easier distribution and administration of the vaccine to resource-poor areas.
Keywords: Co-lyophilization; Emulsion adjuvant; Formulation development; Glycoprotein subunit vaccine.
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