DEL MAR, Calif., Sept. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Since late August the Indian state of Kerala is experiencing its fourth outbreak of the Nipah virus in five years. Nipah virus is a bat-borne virus discovered in 1999 that causes fever, vomiting, respiratory distress and encephalitis. The Nipah virus has a fatality rate between 40% and 75% and has triggered the closure of schools, offices and public transports in Kerala.
Over the past two decades the Nipah virus has spilled over into humans in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Fruit bats of the genus Pteropus are a natural reservoir of the Nipah virus and are widely distributed in East Africa, South-East Asia and Australia, with an estimated 2 billion people worldwide at risk of Nipah virus outbreaks. There is no approved vaccine or treatment for the Nipah virus.
Phylex BioSciences published last year the proof-of-principle of its second-generation nanoparticle mRNA vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 delta virus. The same technology is directly applicable to the development of 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 dissemination of the virus in the brain.
"The Nipah virus outbreak is a reminder of the increased risk of zoonotic diseases as the world population expands and encroaches into wild habitats. We have the technology to rapidly develop next generation mRNA vaccines that will effectively fight against these new viruses", said Pascal Brandys, co-founder and CEO of Phylex BioSciences, which is currently developing a next generation mRNA Nipah virus vaccine. "Our mRNA vaccine encoding for a highly immunogenic nanoparticle provides a flexible platform for rapid development of a new Nipah virus vaccine and will be of great value in combatting Nipah virus and other similar viruses".
About Phylex BioSciences
Founded at the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic by genomics pioneer Pascal Brandys and coronavirus specialist Jens Herold, Phylex BioSciences is the first company to pursue the development of a nanoparticle mRNA vaccine against the Nipah virus.
SOURCE Phylex BioSciences
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