The new RAB002 trial builds on encouraging results from a recent, smaller study of the same vaccine in the UK. Up to 192 healthy people will be randomly assigned to receive one dose of Oxford’s ChAdOx2 RabG vaccine, or one or two doses of a currently licensed rabies vaccine. The study aims to show whether a single dose of the Oxford vaccine has the potential to induce protective immune responses comparable to existing vaccines.
Dr Sandy Douglas, Research Group Leader and Chief Investigator of the trial, said: ‘Many people are unaware that rabies still kills about 50,000 people every year, mostly in Asia and Africa – it’s the only known viral infection with essentially 100% fatality. Current rabies vaccines are effective but they require multiple doses and they’re too expensive for broad use. A single-dose, low cost vaccine would be a game changer – this trial should show us whether our new vaccine could provide that.’