WHAT IS LASSA FEVER?
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness endemic to West Africa.
While the current disease burden is underestimated, there are an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 cases each year.
There are at least 5,000 deaths from Lassa fever annually, although this is likely underestimated.
Lassa fever is zoonotic, transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
One in five infections result in severe disease, where the virus affects several organs, such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys.
The World Health Organization has identified Lassa Virus as one of the top emerging pathogens likely to cause severe outbreaks in the near future, and has included it on the WHO R&D Blueprint list.
This project is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union (grant number RIA2019LV-3053).
The consortium’s work is funded by a five-year €22.8 million grant from the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Advancing an effective vaccine to prevent Lassa fever in West Africa through innovation and collaboration
Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa (LEAP4WA) is a unique multidisciplinary collaboration of seven leading research institutions in Africa, Europe, and North America to advance one of the most promising Lassa fever vaccine candidates to date.
Using an innovative recombinant VSV platform and leveraging state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, LEAP4WA will conduct a Phase IIb clinical trial of the vaccine candidate in three countries in West Africa.
The consortium brings together decades of experience in vaccine development, clinical trial management, and capacity strengthening, embodying a comprehensive and collaborative approach that seeks to deliver a safe, effective, and accessible Lassa fever vaccine to those who need it most.