Wednesday, 13 December 2023 18:00

Working together against deadly Marburg virus

Transmission electron micrograph showing filamentous virions of the Marburg virus Transmission electron micrograph showing filamentous virions of the Marburg virus Wikipedia
  • The multidisciplinary European consortium MARVAX will receive 7.4 million euros over the next four years for the research and development of vaccines against Marburg viruses.

Researchers from France, Spain and Germany will develop novel vaccine candidates, which will be tested in preclinical animal models and bring them to the stage where they are ready for phase I clinical trials. The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM, Germany) will coordinate the MARVAX consortium that also includes the Institut Pasteur (France), the National Centre for Biotechnology of the Spanish National Research Council (CNB-CSIC, Spain), and CZ Vaccines (Zendal group, Spain).

The Marburg virus is one of the most dangerous pathogens for humans. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the mortality rate ranges between 24% and 88%, depending on the strain of the virus and the quality of the medical care. Like Ebola virus, it is an RNA virus of the filovirus family. The first cases of the Marburg virus disease were documented in 1967. Since then, there have been several outbreaks in eastern, central and southern Africa. In 2021 for the first time the virus emerged in West Africa and this year in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea. Marburg virus disease is a zoonosis as the initial transmission usually comes from animals: the natural hosts of this virus are presumably fruit bats. Marburg virus is transmitted between humans through body fluids, possibly also through semen.

So far only supportive treatment

To date, there are no effective antiviral drugs or vaccines, and Marburg virus disease can only be treated supportively. Therefore, any epidemic causes unacceptable suffering in the affected countries and has the potential to further spread the virus. Thus, development of treatments or vaccines are needed.

Innovative vaccine development and preclinical test pipeline

Two vaccines against Marburg viruses are currently in Phase I clinical trials. However, they only target a single antigen of the virus. This could impair their protective effect. Thus, exploring new strategies, the MARVAX consortium will develop novel vaccine candidates based on two different viral vectors that will express multiple Marburg virus antigens. Both combined approaches are expected to maximise the immunogenicity and protective effect of the vaccine candidates.

Above all, the MARVAX consortium is joining forces with experts in vaccine development and production, virology, and immunology to go significantly beyond previous research approaches. The novel vaccine candidates against Marburg viruses will be generated by the CSIC National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) and the Institut Pasteur, and their immunogenicity and efficacy will be evaluated in animal models by BNITM, CNB-CSIC and Institut Pasteur in close collaborationCZ vaccines will develop the manufacturing process and generate clinical batches of the best-in-class vaccines that will be ready for future phase I clinical trials.

"I am very pleased that we were able to convince the European Commission with our study concept," says Prof. César Muñoz-Fontela, head of the Virus Immunology research group at the BNITM and MARVAX project coordinator. "Marburg virus outbreaks are becoming more frequent and more and more countries are affected. We must finally develop effective vaccines in order to contain outbreaks at an early stage with the help of ring vaccinations, as we did with Ebola, and put an end to the deaths!"

Juan García-Arriaza, CNB-CSIC researcher, highlights the value of their participation in this international collaboration. "Our vaccine development platform will allow us to generate new and promising vaccine candidates against this virus. We hope that they will be able to robustly activate the immune system and protect against infection, which will allow us to select the best candidates for future evaluation in clinical trials."

Eugenia Puentes, Head of R&D at CZ Vaccines, said: "We are committed to ensuring that clinical batches are generated under GMP conditions, as this is a critical step in advancing clinical development and future vaccine production.

More About MARVAX platfform

The MARVAX study platform will receive a Horizon Europe grant of 7.4 million euros from the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation over the next four years. The MARVAX consortium includes the Institut Pasteur (France), the Spanish National Research Council (Spain), the BNITM (Germany) and CZ Vaccines (Spain). The platform studies included in the MARVAX consortium will be carried out in close co-operation with the WHO. This should also ensure that a rapid response is possible in the event of renewed Marburg virus outbreaks.


Joint Press Release issued by the Communications Offices from the MARVAX consortium members

BNTIN, Pasteur Institute, CZ vaccines-Zendal Group, CNB & CSIC



NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you continue browsing or do not change browser settings, we consider your acepptance for using. Learn more

I understand


A cookie is a text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device via a web server and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of the cookie and allow the Web site remember browser preferences and navigate efficiently. Cookies make the interaction between the user and the website faster and easier.

General information

This Website uses cookies. Cookies are small text files generated by the web pages you visit, which contain the session data that can be useful later in the website. In this way this Web remembers information about your visit, which can facilitate your next visit and make the website more useful.

How do cookies?

Cookies can only store text, usually always anonymous and encrypted. No personal information is ever stored in a cookie, or can be associated with identified or identifiable person.

The data allow this website to keep your information between the pages, and also to discuss how to interact with the website. Cookies are safe because they can only store information that is put there by the browser, which is information the user entered in the browser or included in the page request. You can not run the code and can not be used to access your computer. If a website encrypts cookie data, only the website can read the information.

What types of cookies used?

The cookies used by this website can be distinguished by the following criteria:

1. Types of cookies as the entity that manages:

Depending on who the entity operating the computer or domain where cookies are sent and treat the data obtained, we can distinguish:

- Own cookies: are those that are sent to the user's terminal equipment from a computer or domain managed by the editor itself and from which provides the service requested by the user.

- Third party cookies: these are those that are sent to the user's terminal equipment from a machine or domain that is not managed by the publisher, but by another entity data is obtained through cookies.

In the event that the cookies are installed from a computer or domain managed by the editor itself but the information collected by these is managed by a third party can not be considered as party cookies.

2. Types of cookies as the length of time that remain active:

Depending on the length of time that remain active in the terminal equipment can be distinguished:

- Session cookies: cookies are a type designed to collect and store data while the user accesses a web page. Are usually used to store information that only worth preserving for the service requested by the user at any one time (eg a list of products purchased).

- Persistent cookies: cookies are a type of data which are stored in the terminal and can be accessed and treated for a period defined by the head of the cookie, and can range from a few minutes to several years.

3. Cookies types according to their purpose:

Depending on the purpose for which the data are processed through cookies, we can distinguish between:

- Technical cookies: these are those that allow the user to navigate through a web page or application platform and the use of different options or services it exist as, for example, control traffic and data communication, identify the session, access to restricted access parts, remember the elements of an order, make the buying process an order, make an application for registration or participation in an event, use security features while browsing store content for dissemination videos or sound or share content via social networks.

- Customization cookies: these are those that allow the user to access the service with some general characteristics based on a predefined set of criteria in the user terminal would eg language, the type of browser through which you access the service, the locale from which you access the service, etc.

- Analysis cookies: they are those that allow the responsible for them, monitoring and analyzing the behavior of users of the web sites that are linked. The information gathered through such cookies are used in measuring the activity of web sites, application or platform and for the profiling of user navigation of such sites, applications and platforms, in order to make improvements function data analysis how users use the service.

Management tool cookies

This Website uses Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that primarily allows website owners know how users interact with your website. Also, enable cookies in the domain of the site in which you are and uses a set of cookies called "__utma" and "__utmz" to collect information anonymously and reporting of website trends without identifying individual users..

For statistics of use of this website use cookies in order to know the level of recurrence of our visitors and more interesting content. This way we can concentrate our efforts on improving the most visited areas and make the user more easily find what they are looking for. On this site you can use the information from your visit for statistical evaluations and calculations anonymous data and to ensure the continuity of service or to make improvements to their websites. For more details, see the link below privacy policy []

How to manage cookies on your computer: disabling and deleting cookies

All Internet browsers allow you to limit the behavior of a cookie or disable cookies within settings or browser settings. The steps for doing so are different for each browser, you can find instructions in the help menu of your browser.

If you decline the use of cookies, since it is possible thanks to the preferences menu of your browser or settings, reject, this website will continue to function properly without the use of the same.

Can you allow, block or delete cookies installed on your computer by setting your browser options installed on your computer:

- For more information about Internet Explorer click here.
- For more information on Chrome click here.
- For more information about Safari click here.
- For more information about Firefox click here.

Through your browser, you can also view the cookies that are on your computer, and delete them as you see fit. Cookies are text files, you can open and read the contents. The data within them is almost always encrypted with a numeric key corresponding to an Internet session so often has no meaning beyond the website who wrote it.

Informed consent

The use of this website on the other hand, implies that you paid your specific consent to the use of cookies, on the terms and conditions provided in this Cookies Policy, without prejudice to the measures of deactivation and removal of cookies that you can take, and mentioned in the previous section.