EVI to co-lead new CEPI project with University of Tokyo to develop vaccine against Nipah virus
Oslo, 25 February 2019—the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) have announced a partnering agreement worth up to US$ 31 million to advance the development and manufacture of a vaccine against the Nipah virus—a bat-borne virus that can spread to both humans and livestock.
To produce a vaccine against Nipah virus, researchers at UTokyo have inserted Nipah virus genes into an attenuated measles viral vaccine. During the replication of the measles vector, the antigens of the Nipah virus are expressed, inducing a strong and long-term immune response against the virus.
This kind of recombinant vaccine—specifically using measles vaccine as a vector—can induce powerful humoral immune responses (ie, antibody-mediated immunity) and cellular immune responses (ie, T-cell mediated immunity), which could lead to effective protection against Nipah virus. This vector approach is also being used by UTokyo to evaluate an experimental vaccine against highly pathogenic avian influenza. The European Vaccine Initiative has also supported this vector approach to develop vaccine candidates against Zika and Dengue viruses with funding from the European Commission Horizon2020 programme and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, respectively.