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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 11369, 2022 Jul 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921713

ABSTRACT

Intramuscular vaccines have greatly reduced hospitalization and death due to severe COVID-19. However, most countries are experiencing a resurgence of infection driven predominantly by the Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2. In response, booster dosing of COVID-19 vaccines has been implemented in many countries to address waning immunity and reduced protection against the variants. However, intramuscular boosting fails to elicit mucosal immunity and therefore does not solve the problem of persistent viral carriage and transmission, even in patients protected from severe disease. In this study, two doses of stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike (S-2P)-based intramuscular vaccine adjuvanted with Alum/CpG1018, MVC-COV1901, were used as a primary vaccination series, followed by an intranasal booster vaccination with nanoemulsion (NE01)-adjuvanted S-2P vaccine in a hamster model to demonstrate immunogenicity and protection from viral challenge. Here we report that this vaccination regimen resulted not only in the induction of robust immunity and protection against weight loss and lung pathology following challenge with SARS-CoV-2, but also led to increased viral clearance from both upper and lower respiratory tracts. Our findings showed that intramuscular MVC-COV1901 vaccine followed by a booster with intranasal NE01-adjuvanted vaccine promotes protective immunity against both viral infection and disease, suggesting that this immunization protocol may offer a solution in addressing a significant, unmet medical need for both the COVID-19 and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886443

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (VoCs) negatively impact the effectiveness of vaccines. In this study, we challenge hamsters with the Delta variant after two- or three-dose inoculations with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines constructed from stabilized prefusion spike proteins (S-2P) of Wuhan (W) and Beta (B) variants. Compared to three doses of W S-2P, two doses of W S-2P followed by a third dose of B S-2P induced the highest neutralizing antibody titer against live SARS-CoV-2 virus and enhanced neutralization of Omicron variant pseudovirus. Reduced lung live virus titer and pathology suggested that all vaccination regimens protect hamsters from SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant challenge.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330836

ABSTRACT

With the rapid progress made in the development of vaccines to fight the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, almost >90% of vaccine candidates under development and a 100% of the licensed vaccines are delivered intramuscularly (IM). While these vaccines are highly efficacious against COVID-19 disease, their efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 infection of upper respiratory tract and transmission is at best temporary. Development of safe and efficacious vaccines that are able to induce robust mucosal and systemic immune responses are needed to control new variants. In this study, we have used our nanoemulsion adjuvant (NE01) to intranasally (IN) deliver stabilized spike protein (S-2P) to induce immunogenicity in mouse and hamster models. Data presented demonstrate the induction of robust immunity in mice resulting in 100% seroconversion and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in a hamster challenge model. There was a significant induction of mucosal immune responses as demonstrated by IgA- and IgG-producing memory B cells in the lungs of animals that received intranasal immunizations compared to an alum adjuvanted intramuscular vaccine. The efficacy of the S-2P/NE01 vaccine was also demonstrated in an intranasal hamster challenge model with SARS-CoV-2 and conferred significant protection against weight loss, lung pathology, and viral clearance from both upper and lower respiratory tract. Our findings demonstrate that intranasal NE01-adjuvanted vaccine promotes protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease through activation of three arms of immune system: humoral, cellular, and mucosal, suggesting that an intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may play a role in addressing a unique public health problem and unmet medical need.

4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330228

ABSTRACT

Background MVC-COV1901 is a subunit SARS-CoV-2 vaccine based on the prefusion spike protein S-2P and adjuvanted with CpG 1018 and aluminum hydroxide. Although MVC-COV1901 has been licensed for emergency use for adults in Taiwan, the safety and immunogenicity of MVC-COV1901 in adolescents remained unknown. As young people play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 transmission and epidemiology, a vaccine approved for adolescents and eventually, children, will be important in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods This study is a prospective, double-blind, multi-center phase 2 trial evaluating the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of two doses of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine MVC-COV1901 in adolescents. Healthy adolescents from age of 12 to 17 years were recruited and randomly assigned (6:1) to receive two intramuscular doses of either MVC-COV1901 or placebo at 28 days apart. The primary outcomes were safety and immunogenicity from the day of first vaccination (Day 1) to 28 days after the second vaccination (Day 57), and immunogenicity of MVC COV1901 in adolescents as compared to young adult vaccinees in terms of neutralizing antibody titers and seroconversion rate. The secondary outcomes were safety and immunogenicity of MVC-COV1901 as compared to placebo in adolescents in terms of immunoglobulin titers and neutralizing antibody titers over the study period. Results Between July 21, 2021 and December 22, 2021, a total of 399 adolescent participants were included for safety evaluation after enrollment to receive at least one dose of either MVC-COV1901 (N=341) or placebo (N=58). Of these, 334 and 46 participants went on to receive two doses of either MVC-COV1901 or placebo, respectively, and were included in the per protocol set (PPS) for immunogenicity analysis. Adverse events were mostly mild and were similar in MVC-COV1901 and placebo groups. The most commonly reported adverse events were pain/tenderness and malaise/fatigue. All immunogenicity endpoints in the adolescent group were non-inferior to the endpoints seen in the young adult and placebo groups. Conclusions The safety and immunogenicity data presented here showed that MVC-COV1901 has similar safety profile and non-inferior immunogenicity in adolescents compared to young adults. ClinicalTrials.gov registration NCT04951388.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329469

ABSTRACT

Intramuscular vaccines have greatly reduced hospitalization and death due to severe COVID-19. However, most countries are experiencing a resurgence of infection driven predominantly by the Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2. In response, booster dosing of COVID-19 vaccines has been implemented in many countries to address waning immunity and reduced protection against the variants. However, intramuscular boosting fails to elicit mucosal immunity and therefore does not solve the problem of persistent viral carriage and transmission, even in patients protected from severe disease. In this study, two doses of stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike (S-2P)-based intramuscular vaccine adjuvanted with Alum/CpG1018, MVC-COV1901, were used as a primary vaccination series, followed by an intranasal booster vaccination with nanoemulsion (NE01)-adjuvanted S-2P vaccine in a hamster model to demonstrate immunogenicity and protection from viral challenge. Here we report that this vaccination regimen resulted not only in the induction of robust immunity and protection against weight loss and lung pathology following challenge with SARS-CoV-2, but also led to increased viral clearance from both upper and lower respiratory tracts. Our findings showed that intramuscular MVC-COV1901 vaccine followed by a booster with intranasal NE01-adjuvanted vaccine promotes protective immunity against both viral infection and disease, suggesting that this immunization protocol may offer a solution in addressing a significant, unmet medical need for both the COVID-19 and future pandemics.

6.
Theranostics ; 12(1): 1-17, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512993

ABSTRACT

Background: Administration of potent anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) monoclonal antibodies has been shown to curtail viral shedding and reduce hospitalization in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the structure-function analysis of potent human anti-RBD monoclonal antibodies and its links to the formulation of antibody cocktails remains largely elusive. Methods: Previously, we isolated a panel of neutralizing anti-RBD monoclonal antibodies from convalescent patients and showed their neutralization efficacy in vitro. Here, we elucidate the mechanism of action of antibodies and dissect antibodies at the epitope level, which leads to a formation of a potent antibody cocktail. Results: We found that representative antibodies which target non-overlapping epitopes are effective against wild type virus and recently emerging variants of concern, whilst being encoded by antibody genes with few somatic mutations. Neutralization is associated with the inhibition of binding of viral RBD to ACE2 and possibly of the subsequent fusion process. Structural analysis of representative antibodies, by cryo-electron microscopy and crystallography, reveals that they have some unique aspects that are of potential value while sharing some features in common with previously reported neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. For instance, one has a common VH 3-53 public variable region yet is unusually resilient to mutation at residue 501 of the RBD. We evaluate the in vivo efficacy of an antibody cocktail consisting of two potent non-competing anti-RBD antibodies in a Syrian hamster model. We demonstrate that the cocktail prevents weight loss, reduces lung viral load and attenuates pulmonary inflammation in hamsters in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings. Although neutralization of one of these antibodies is abrogated by the mutations of variant B.1.351, it is also possible to produce a bi-valent cocktail of antibodies both of which are resilient to variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and B.1.617.2. Conclusions: These findings support the up-to-date and rational design of an anti-RBD antibody cocktail as a therapeutic candidate against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Binding, Competitive , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Dogs , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(11): 1899-1905, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504298

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Variants of concern (VoCs) have the potential to diminish the neutralizing capacity of antibodies elicited by vaccines. MVC-COV1901 is a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine consisting of recombinant prefusion stabilized spike protein S-2P adjuvanted with CpG 1018 and aluminum hydroxide. We explored the effectiveness of MVC-COV1901 against the VoCs. METHODS: Serum samples were taken from rats and phase 1 clinical trial human subjects immunized with a low, medium, or high dose of MVC-COV1901. The neutralizing titers of serum antibodies were assayed with pseudoviruses coated with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein of the wild-type (WT), D614G, Alpha, or Beta variants. RESULTS: Rats vaccinated twice with vaccine containing high doses of antigen retained high levels of neutralization activity against the Beta variant, albeit with a slight reduction compared to WT. After the third dose, neutralizing titers against the Beta variant were noticeably enhanced regardless of the amount of antigen used for immunization. In humans, vaccinated phase 1 subjects still showed appreciable neutralization abilities against the D614G, Alpha, and Beta variants, although neutralizing titers were significantly reduced against the Beta variant. CONCLUSIONS: Two doses of MVC-COV1901 were able to elicit neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants with an overall tendency of inducing higher immune response at a higher dose level. The neutralizing titers to the Beta variant in rats and humans were lower than those for WT and the Alpha variant. An additional third dose in rats was able to partially compensate for the reduction in neutralization against the Beta variant. We have demonstrated that immunization with MVC-COV1901 was effective against VoCs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Rats , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Subunit , Viral Envelope Proteins
8.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 8761, 2021 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199318

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to global public health. Rapid development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines are imperative to control the pandemic. In the current study, we applied our adjuvanted stable prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike (S-2P)-based vaccine, MVC-COV1901, to hamster models to demonstrate immunogenicity and protection from virus challenge. Golden Syrian hamsters immunized intramuscularly with two injections of 1 µg or 5 µg of S-2P adjuvanted with CpG 1018 and aluminum hydroxide (alum) were challenged intranasally with SARS-CoV-2. Prior to virus challenge, the vaccine induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies with 10,000-fold higher IgG level and an average of 50-fold higher pseudovirus neutralizing titers in either dose groups than vehicle or adjuvant control groups. Six days after infection, vaccinated hamsters did not display any weight loss associated with infection and had significantly reduced lung pathology and most importantly, lung viral load levels were reduced to lower than detection limit compared to unvaccinated animals. Vaccination with either 1 µg or 5 µg of adjuvanted S-2P produced comparable immunogenicity and protection from infection. This study builds upon our previous results to support the clinical development of MVC-COV1901 as a safe, highly immunogenic, and protective COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/administration & dosage , Aluminum Hydroxide/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Aluminum Hydroxide/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Immunization , Injections, Intramuscular , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load/drug effects
9.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 20085, 2020 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933722

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide health emergency which calls for an unprecedented race for vaccines and treatment. In developing a COVID-19 vaccine, we applied technology previously used for MERS-CoV to produce a prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, S-2P. To enhance immunogenicity and mitigate the potential vaccine-induced immunopathology, CpG 1018, a Th1-biasing synthetic toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist was selected as an adjuvant candidate. S-2P in combination with CpG 1018 and aluminum hydroxide (alum) was found to be the most potent immunogen and induced high titer of neutralizing antibodies in sera of immunized mice against pseudotyped lentivirus reporter or live wild-type SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the antibodies elicited were able to cross-neutralize pseudovirus containing the spike protein of the D614G variant, indicating the potential for broad spectrum protection. A marked Th1 dominant response was noted from cytokines secreted by splenocytes of mice immunized with CpG 1018 and alum. No vaccine-related serious adverse effects were found in the dose-ranging study in rats administered single- or two-dose regimens of S-2P combined with CpG 1018 alone or CpG 1018 with alum. These data support continued development of CHO-derived S-2P formulated with CpG 1018 and alum as a candidate vaccine to prevent COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic/therapeutic use , Aluminum Hydroxide/therapeutic use , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CHO Cells , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Cricetinae , Cricetulus , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/therapeutic use , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Spleen/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology
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