Nipah Virus Vaccine

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Last reviewed
September 23, 2023
Content Overview
Nipah virus vaccine candidates are in development in 2023

Nipah Virus Vaccines 2023

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a zoonotic disease that is spread by fruit bats between animals and people, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nipah and henipaviral diseases are considered priority pathogens by the World Health Organization (WHO) because of their potential to cause public health emergencies. The first known Nipah outbreak occurred in 1998 in Malaysia and Singapore. An estimated 40% to 75% of people infected with Nipah virus die. Since 1999, Nipah outbreaks have occurred annually in Asia, including Bangladesh and India. As of September 23, 2023, no licensed vaccine or treatment for the Nipah virus exists, but clinical trials are ongoing. 

Nipah Virus Vaccine Candidates

Among Nipah vaccine candidates are live-attenuated and replication-defective recombinant vaccine platforms based on poxviruses, VSV, adenovirus, measles virus, rabies virus, and virus-like particles and subunit vaccines. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI), a Norwegian Association, has invested up to U.S. $100 million in four Nipah vaccine candidates: Auro Vaccines and PATH, Public Health Vaccines, the University of Tokyo, and the University of Oxford.

mRNA-1215 Nipah virus vaccine candidate is being produced by Moderna Inc. The phase 1 clinical trial was last updated on September 13, 2023.

Public Health Vaccines LLC sponsors PHV02, a live, attenuated, recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vector vaccine candidate expressing the Nipah virus (Bangladesh strain) and the Ebola virus glycoprotein. The VSV-NiVG vaccine offers broad protection against NiV disease. It affords protection after a single injection; it protects from homologous and heterologous challenges using the licensed VSV-EBOV vector as a backbone. The phase 1 clinical trial was last updated on March 14, 2023.

The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh also studies Nipah survivors better to understand the body's response to the virus and support vaccine development. Up to U.S. $980,000 will be provided by CEPI to support the research.

NPJ reported in 2022 that ChAdOx1 NiV vaccination protects against lethal Nipah Bangladesh virus infection in African green monkeys. Vaccinated animals showed no signs of disease, and we could not detect infectious viruses in tissues and all but one swab. No limited antibodies against fusion protein or nucleoprotein antigen could be detected 42 days post-challenge, suggesting that vaccination induced a robust protective immune response preventing extensive virus replication. In 2019, a study reported a single-dose ChAdOx1-vectored vaccine provides complete protection against Nipah Bangladesh and Malaysia in Syrian golden hamsters.

Phylex BioSciences's second-generation nanoparticle mRNA vaccine technology directly applies to developing a Nipah virus vaccine. The mRNA vaccine candidate encodes for a nanoparticle displaying 60 copies of the antigen-based upon the head domain of the G protein of the Nipah virus. The anticipated advantages of the nanoparticle vaccine are superior immune response, long-term protection from cell-mediated immunity, and protection against virus dissemination in the brain.

Nipah Virus Vaccine for Pigs

The United Kingdom's Vaccine Network awarded Pirbright researchers £389,089 in 2022 to develop a Nipah virus vaccine that could protect pigs and prevent human disease. Innovate U.K. is delivering this funding. In pigs, it has been shown that induction of humoral and cellular immunity is essential for protection after vaccination.

Nipah Virus Vaccine News

September 22, 2023 - Phylex BioSciences previously published a proof-of-principle of its second-generation nanoparticle mRNA vaccine technology is directly applicable to the development of a Nipah virus vaccine.

September 12, 2023 - Reuters reported India's National Institute of Virology announced two fatal Nipah virus infections have been confirmed in Kerala state.

July 11, 2022 - U.S. NIH co-launches a phase 1 clinical trial of a mRNA Nipah virus vaccine.