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iScience ; : 107085, 2023 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239877


The SARS-CoV2 Omicron variant sub-lineages spread rapidly worldwide, mostly due to their immune-evasive properties. This has put a significant part of the population at risk for severe disease and underscores the need for effective anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents against emergent strains in vulnerable patients. Camelid nanobodies are attractive therapeutic candidates due to their high stability, ease of large-scale production and potential for delivery via inhalation. Here, we characterize the RBD-specific nanobody W25 and show superior neutralization activity towards Omicron sub-lineages in comparison to all other SARS-CoV2 variants. Structure analysis of W25 in complex with the SARS-CoV2 spike glycoprotein shows that W25 engages an RBD epitope not covered by any of the antibodies previously approved for emergency use. In vivo evaluation of W25 prophylactic and therapeutic treatments across multiple SARS-CoV-2 variant infection models, together with W25 biodistribution analysis in mice, demonstrates favorable pre-clinical properties. Together, these data endorse W25 for further clinical development.

Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(4): e1269, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1162553


OBJECTIVES: Efforts to develop and deploy effective vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue at pace. Here, we describe rational antigen design through to manufacturability and vaccine efficacy of a prefusion-stabilised spike (S) protein, Sclamp, in combination with the licensed adjuvant MF59 'MF59C.1' (Seqirus, Parkville, Australia). METHODS: A panel recombinant Sclamp proteins were produced in Chinese hamster ovary and screened in vitro to select a lead vaccine candidate. The structure of this antigen was determined by cryo-electron microscopy and assessed in mouse immunogenicity studies, hamster challenge studies and safety and toxicology studies in rat. RESULTS: In mice, the Sclamp vaccine elicits high levels of neutralising antibodies, as well as broadly reactive and polyfunctional S-specific CD4+ and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells in vivo. In the Syrian hamster challenge model (n = 70), vaccination results in reduced viral load within the lung, protection from pulmonary disease and decreased viral shedding in daily throat swabs which correlated strongly with the neutralising antibody level. CONCLUSION: The SARS-CoV-2 Sclamp vaccine candidate is compatible with large-scale commercial manufacture, stable at 2-8°C. When formulated with MF59 adjuvant, it elicits neutralising antibodies and T-cell responses and provides protection in animal challenge models.