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The University of Oxford has launched a new clinical trial to test a vaccine to protect people against deadly Nipah virus. 

This is the first-in-human trial of the ChAdOx1 NipahB vaccine, being developed by researchers at the University of Oxford’s Pandemic Sciences Institute. Fifty-one people aged 18 to 55 will participate in the trial, which will be led by the Oxford Vaccine Group and is funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). 

The virus, which is recognised by the World Health Organization as a priority disease requiring urgent research, belongs to the same family of paramyxoviruses as more well-known pathogens like measles. Despite the first outbreaks of Nipah virus occurring 25 years ago in Malaysia and Singapore, there are currently no approved vaccines or treatments. 

The University of Oxford has produced the vaccine against Nipah virus using the ChAdOx1 platform, the same viral vector vaccine platform that was used for the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and that has saved an estimated 6 million lives worldwide. 

Professor Brian Angus, the trial’s Principal Investigator and Professor and Reader in Infectious Diseases at the Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine and Global Health in the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine said:  

Nipah virus was first identifiedin 1998, and yet 25 years on the global health community still has no approved vaccines or treatments for this devastating disease.Due to the high mortality rate and the nature of Nipah virus transmission, the diseaseis identified as a priority pandemic pathogenThis vaccine trial is an important milestone in identifying a solution that could prevent local outbreaks occurring, while also helping the world prepare for a future global pandemic.

Read more here.

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