• Mechanism of a COVID-19 nanoparticle vaccine candidate that elicits a broadly neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 variants

      Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology (Temple University) (2021-09-09)
      Vaccines that induce potent neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses against emerging variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are essential for combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We demonstrated that mouse plasma induced by self-assembling protein nanoparticles (SApNPs) that present 20 rationally designed S2GΔHR2 spikes of the ancestral Wuhan-Hu-1 strain can neutralize the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and B.1.617 variants with the same potency. The adjuvant effect on vaccine-induced immunity was investigated by testing 16 formulations for the multilayered I3-01v9 SApNP. Using single-cell sorting, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with diverse neutralization breadth and potency were isolated from mice immunized with the receptor binding domain (RBD), S2GΔHR2 spike, and SApNP vaccines. The mechanism of vaccine-induced immunity was examined in mice. Compared with the soluble spike, the I3-01v9 SApNP showed 6-fold longer retention, 4-fold greater presentation on follicular dendritic cell dendrites, and 5-fold stronger germinal center reactions in lymph node follicles.
    • Safety and Immunogenicity of CpG 1018 and Aluminium Hydroxide-Adjuvanted SARS-CoV-2 S-2P Protein Vaccine MVC-COV1901: A Large-Scale Double-Blind, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Phase 2 Trial

      Szu-Min, Hsieh; Liu, Ming-Che; Chen, Yen-Hsu; Lee, Wen-Sen; Hwang, Shinn-Jang; Cheng, Shu-Hsing; Ko, Wen-Chien; Hwang, Kao-Pin; Wang, Ning-Chi; Lee, Yu-Lin; Lin, Yi-Ling; Shih, Shin-Ru; Huang, Chung-Guei; Liao, Chun-Che; Liang, Jian-Jong; Chang, Chih-Shin; Chen, Charles; Lien, Chia En; Tai, I-Chen; Lin, Tzou-Yien (2021-08-08)
      Background: We have assessed the safety and immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccine MVC-COV1901, a recombinant protein vaccine containing prefusion-stabilized spike protein S-2P adjuvanted with CpG 1018 and aluminium hydroxide. Methods: This is a phase 2, prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and multi-centre study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate MVC-COV1901. The study comprised 3,844 participants of ≥ 20 years who were generally healthy or with stable pre-existing medical conditions. The study participants were randomly assigned in a 6:1 ratio to receive either MVC-COV1901 containing 15 μg of S-2P protein or placebo containing saline. Participants received two doses of MVC-COV1901 or placebo, administered 28 days apart via intramuscular injection. The primary outcomes were to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of MVC-COV1901 from Day 1 (the day of first vaccination) to Day 57 (28 days after the second dose). Immunogenicity of MVC-COV1901 was assessed through geometric mean titres (GMT) and seroconversion rates (SCR) of neutralising antibody and antigen-specific immunoglobulin. This clinical trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04695652. Findings: From the start of this phase 2 trial to the time of interim analysis, no vaccine-related Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) were recorded. The most common solicited adverse events across all study participants were pain at the injection site (64%), and malaise/fatigue (35%). Fever was rarely reported (<1%). For all participants in the MVC-COV1901 group, at 28 days after the second dose against wild type SARS-CoV-2 virus, the GMT was 662·3 (408 IU/mL), the GMT ratio was 163·2, and the seroconversion rate was 99·8%. Interpretation: MVC-COV1901 shows good safety profiles and promising immunogenicity responses. The current data supports MVC-COV1901 to enter phase 3 efficacy trials and could enable regulatory considerations for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA). Funding: Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corporation and Taiwan Centres for Disease Control.