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1.
N Engl J Med ; 386(22): 2097-2111, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830291

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The ZF2001 vaccine, which contains a dimeric form of the receptor-binding domain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant, was shown to be safe, with an acceptable side-effect profile, and immunogenic in adults in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial to investigate the efficacy and confirm the safety of ZF2001. The trial was performed at 31 clinical centers across Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Ecuador; an additional center in China was included in the safety analysis only. Adult participants (≥18 years of age) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive a total of three 25-µg doses (30 days apart) of ZF2001 or placebo. The primary end point was the occurrence of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), as confirmed on polymerase-chain-reaction assay, at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose. A key secondary efficacy end point was the occurrence of severe-to-critical Covid-19 (including Covid-19-related death) at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose. RESULTS: Between December 12, 2020, and December 15, 2021, a total of 28,873 participants received at least one dose of ZF2001 or placebo and were included in the safety analysis; 25,193 participants who had completed the three-dose regimen, for whom there were approximately 6 months of follow-up data, were included in the updated primary efficacy analysis that was conducted at the second data cutoff date of December 15, 2021. In the updated analysis, primary end-point cases were reported in 158 of 12,625 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 580 of 12,568 participants in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 75.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 71.0 to 79.8). Severe-to-critical Covid-19 occurred in 6 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 43 in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 87.6% (95% CI, 70.6 to 95.7); Covid-19-related death occurred in 2 and 12 participants, respectively, for a vaccine efficacy of 86.5% (95% CI, 38.9 to 98.5). The incidence of adverse events and serious adverse events was balanced in the two groups, and there were no vaccine-related deaths. Most adverse reactions (98.5%) were of grade 1 or 2. CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of adults, the ZF2001 vaccine was shown to be safe and effective against symptomatic and severe-to-critical Covid-19 for at least 6 months after full vaccination. (Funded by the National Science and Technology Major Project and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04646590.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Vaccines, Subunit , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Double-Blind Method , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccines , Vaccines, Subunit/adverse effects , Vaccines, Subunit/therapeutic use , Young Adult
2.
Chin Med J (Engl) ; 134(16): 1967-1976, 2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769434

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Innovative coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, with elevated global manufacturing capacity, enhanced safety and efficacy, simplified dosing regimens, and distribution that is less cold chain-dependent, are still global imperatives for tackling the ongoing pandemic. A previous phase I trial indicated that the recombinant COVID-19 vaccine (V-01), which contains a fusion protein (IFN-PADRE-RBD-Fc dimer) as its antigen, is safe and well tolerated, capable of inducing rapid and robust immune responses, and warranted further testing in additional clinical trials. Herein, we aimed to assess the immunogenicity and safety of V-01, providing rationales of appropriate dose regimen for further efficacy study. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial was initiated at the Gaozhou Municipal Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Guangdong, China) in March 2021. Both younger (n = 440; 18-59 years of age) and older (n = 440; ≥60 years of age) adult participants in this trial were sequentially recruited into two distinct groups: two-dose regimen group in which participants were randomized either to follow a 10 or 25 µg of V-01 or placebo given intramuscularly 21 days apart (allocation ratio, 3:3:1, n = 120, 120, 40 for each regimen, respectively), or one-dose regimen groups in which participants were randomized either to receive a single injection of 50 µg of V-01 or placebo (allocation ratio, 3:1, n = 120, 40, respectively). The primary immunogenicity endpoints were the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies against live severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and specific binding antibodies to the receptor binding domain (RBD). The primary safety endpoint evaluation was the frequencies and percentages of overall adverse events (AEs) within 30 days after full immunization. RESULTS: V-01 provoked substantial immune responses in the two-dose group, achieving encouragingly high titers of neutralizing antibody and anti-RBD immunoglobulin, which peaked at day 35 (161.9 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 133.3-196.7] and 149.3 [95%CI: 123.9-179.9] in 10 and 25 µg V-01 group of younger adults, respectively; 111.6 [95%CI: 89.6-139.1] and 111.1 [95%CI: 89.2-138.4] in 10 and 25 µg V-01 group of older adults, respectively), and remained high at day 49 after a day-21 second dose; these levels significantly exceed those in convalescent serum from symptomatic COVID-19 patients (53.6, 95%CI: 31.3-91.7). Our preliminary data show that V-01 is safe and well tolerated, with reactogenicity predominantly being absent or mild in severity and only one vaccine-related grade 3 or worse AE being observed within 30 days. The older adult participants demonstrated a more favorable safety profile compared with those in the younger adult group: with AEs percentages of 19.2%, 25.8%, 17.5% in older adults vs. 34.2%, 23.3%, 26.7% in younger adults at the 10, 25 µg V-01 two-dose group, and 50 µg V-01 one-dose group, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The vaccine candidate V-01 appears to be safe and immunogenic. The preliminary findings support the advancement of the two-dose, 10 µg V-01 regimen to a phase III trial for a large-scale population-based evaluation of safety and efficacy. TRIAL REGISTRATION: http://www.chictr.org.cn/index.aspx (No. ChiCTR2100045107, http://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.aspx?proj=124702).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Recombinant Fusion Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 18, 2022 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639142

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants are the most serious problem for COVID-19 prophylaxis and treatment. To determine whether the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine strain should be updated following variant emergence like seasonal flu vaccine, the changed degree on antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants and H3N2 flu vaccine strains was compared. The neutralization activities of Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants' spike protein-immunized sera were analysed against the eight current epidemic variants and 20 possible variants combining the top 10 prevalent RBD mutations based on the Delta variant, which were constructed using pseudotyped viruses. Meanwhile, the neutralization activities of convalescent sera and current inactivated and recombinant protein vaccine-elicited sera were also examined against all possible Delta variants. Eight HA protein-expressing DNAs elicited-animal sera were also tested against eight pseudotyped viruses of H3N2 flu vaccine strains from 2011-2019. Our results indicate that the antigenicity changes of possible Delta variants were mostly within four folds, whereas the antigenicity changes among different H3N2 vaccine strains were approximately 10-100-fold. Structural analysis of the antigenic characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 and H3N2 mutations supports the neutralization results. This study indicates that the antigenicity changes of the current SARS-CoV-2 may not be sufficient to require replacement of the current vaccine strain.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Substitution , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Gene Expression , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/chemistry , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza Vaccines/chemistry , Influenza Vaccines/metabolism , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/virology , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
Vaccine ; 39(48): 7001-7011, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488001

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the public health and social economy worldwide. A safe, effective, and affordable vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections/diseases is urgently needed. We have been developing a recombinant vaccine based on a prefusion-stabilized spike trimer of SARS-CoV-2 and formulated with aluminium hydroxide and CpG 7909. The spike protein was expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, purified, and prepared as a stable formulation with the dual adjuvant. Immunogenicity studies showed that candidate vaccines elicited robust neutralizing antibody responses and substantial CD4+ T cell responses in both mice and non-human primates. And vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies persisted at high level for at least 6 months. Challenge studies demonstrated that candidate vaccine reduced the viral loads and inflammation in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2 infected golden Syrian hamsters significantly. In addition, the vaccine-induced antibodies showed cross-neutralization activity against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants. These data suggest candidate vaccine is efficacious in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections and associated pneumonia, thereby justifying ongoing phase I/II clinical studies in China (NCT04982068 and NCT04990544).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Alum Compounds , Aluminum Hydroxide , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , CHO Cells , Cricetinae , Cricetulus , Humans , Mice , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1589-1597, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354261

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines are still urgently needed to cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, we developed a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine (V-01) containing fusion protein (IFN-PADRE-RBD-Fc dimer) as antigen verified to induce protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in pre-clinical study, which supported progression to Phase I clinical trials in humans. A Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase I clinical trial was initiated at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Gaozhou, China) in February 2021. Healthy adults aged between 18 and 59 years and over 60 years were sequentially enrolled and randomly allocated into three subgroups (1:1:1) either to receive the vaccine (10, 25, and 50 µg) or placebo (V-01: Placebo = 4:1) intramuscularly with a 21-day interval by a sentinel and dose escalation design. The data showed a promising safety profile with approximately 25% vaccine-related overall adverse events (AEs) within 30 days and no grade 3 or worse AEs. Besides, V-01 provoked rapid and strong immune responses, elicited substantially high-titre neutralizing antibodies and anti-RBD IgG peaked at day 35 or 49 after first dose, presented with encouraging immunogenicity at low dose (10 µg) subgroup and elderly participants, which showed great promise to be used as all-aged (18 and above) vaccine against COVID-19. Taken together, our preliminary findings indicate that V-01 is safe and well tolerated, capable of inducing rapid and strong immune responses, and warrants further testing in Phase II/III clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Interferons/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , China , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Interferons/administration & dosage , Interferons/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , Placebos , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Young Adult
7.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(8): 1107-1119, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155669

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed so far, they will not be sufficient to meet the global demand. Development of a wider range of vaccines, with different mechanisms of action, could help control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 globally. We developed a protein subunit vaccine against COVID-19 using a dimeric form of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as the antigen. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of this vaccine, ZF2001, and determine the appropriate dose and schedule for an efficacy study. METHODS: We did two randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1 and phase 2 trials. Phase 1 was done at two university hospitals in Chongqing and Beijing, China, and phase 2 was done at the Hunan Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Xiangtan, China. Healthy adults aged 18-59 years, without a history of SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 infection, an RT-PCR-positive test result for SARS-CoV-2, a history of contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, and severe allergies to any component of the vaccine were eligible for enrolment. In phase 1, participants were randomly assigned (2:2:1) to receive three doses of the vaccine (25 µg or 50 µg) or placebo intramuscularly, 30 days apart. In phase 2, participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1:1:1) to receive the vaccine (25 µg or 50 µg) or placebo intramuscularly, 30 days apart, in either a two-dose schedule or a three-dose schedule. Investigators, participants, and the laboratory team were masked to group allocation. For phase 1, the primary outcome was safety, measured by the occurrence of adverse events and serious adverse events. For phase 2, the primary outcome was safety and immunogenicity (the seroconversion rate and the magnitude, in geometric mean titres [GMTs], of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising antibodies). Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat and per-protocol basis. These trials are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04445194 and NCT04466085) and participant follow-up is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between June 22 and July 3, 2020, 50 participants were enrolled into the phase 1 trial and randomly assigned to receive three doses of placebo (n=10), the 25 µg vaccine (n=20), or the 50 µg vaccine (n=20). The mean age of participants was 32·6 (SD 9·4) years. Between July 12 and July 17, 2020, 900 participants were enrolled into the phase 2 trial and randomly assigned to receive two doses of placebo (n=150), 25 µg vaccine (n=150), or 50 µg vaccine (n=150), or three doses of placebo (n=150), 25 µg vaccine (n=150), or 50 µg vaccine (n=150). The mean age of participants was 43·5 (SD 9·2) years. In both phase 1 and phase 2, adverse events reported within 30 days after vaccination were mild or moderate (grade 1 or 2) in most cases (phase 1: six [60%] of ten participants in the placebo group, 14 [70%] of 20 in the 25 µg group, and 18 [90%] of 20 in the 50 µg group; phase 2: 37 [25%] of 150 in the two-dose placebo group, 43 [29%] of 150 in the two-dose 25 µg group, 50 [33%] of 150 in the two-dose 50 µg group, 47 [31%] of 150 in the three-dose placebo group, 72 [48%] of 150 in the three-dose 25 µg group, and 65 [43%] of 150 in the three-dose 50 µg group). In phase 1, two (10%) grade 3 or worse adverse events were reported in the 50 µg group. In phase 2, grade 3 or worse adverse events were reported by 18 participants (four [3%] in the two-dose 25 µg vaccine group, two [1%] in the two-dose 50 µg vaccine group, two [1%] in the three-dose placebo group, four [3%] in the three-dose 25 µg vaccine group, and six [4%] in the three-dose 50 µg vaccine group), and 11 were considered vaccine related (two [1%] in the two-dose 25 µg vaccine group, one [1%] in the two-dose 50 µg vaccine group, one [1%] in the three-dose placebo group, two [1%] in the three-dose 25 µg vaccine group, and five [3%] in the three-dose 50 µg vaccine group); seven participants reported serious adverse events (one [1%] in the two-dose 25 µg vaccine group, one [1%] in the two-dose 50 µg vaccine group, two [1%] in the three-dose placebo group, one [1%] in the three-dose 25 µg vaccine group, and two [1%] in the three-dose 50 µg vaccine group), but none was considered vaccine related. In phase 2, on the two-dose schedule, seroconversion rates of neutralising antibodies 14 days after the second dose were 76% (114 of 150 participants) in the 25 µg group and 72% (108 of 150) in the 50 µg group; on the three-dose schedule, seroconversion rates of neutralising antibodies 14 days after the third dose were 97% (143 of 148 participants) in the 25 µg group and 93% (138 of 148) in the 50 µg group. In the two-dose groups in phase 2, the SARS-CoV-2-neutralising GMTs 14 days after the second dose were 17·7 (95% CI 13·6-23·1) in the 25 µg group and 14·1 (10·8-18·3) in the 50 µg group. In the three-dose groups in phase 2, the SARS-CoV-2-neutralising GMTs 14 days after the third dose were 102·5 (95% CI 81·8-128·5) in the 25 µg group and 69·1 (53·0-90·0) in the 50 µg group. INTERPRETATION: The protein subunit vaccine ZF2001 appears to be well tolerated and immunogenic. The safety and immunogenicity data from the phase 1 and 2 trials support the use of the 25 µg dose in a three-dose schedule in an ongoing phase 3 trial for large-scale evaluation of ZF2001's safety and efficacy. FUNDING: National Program on Key Research Project of China, National Science and Technology Major Projects of Drug Discovery, Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical. TRANSLATION: For the Chinese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Multimerization , Tandem Repeat Sequences , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
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