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1.
Nature ; 601(7893): 410-414, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521758

ABSTRACT

The CVnCoV (CureVac) mRNA vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was recently evaluated in a phase 2b/3 efficacy trial in humans1. CV2CoV is a second-generation mRNA vaccine containing non-modified nucleosides but with optimized non-coding regions and enhanced antigen expression. Here we report the results of a head-to-head comparison of the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of CVnCoV and CV2CoV in non-human primates. We immunized 18 cynomolgus macaques with two doses of 12 µg lipid nanoparticle-formulated CVnCoV or CV2CoV or with sham (n = 6 per group). Compared with CVnCoV, CV2CoV induced substantially higher titres of binding and neutralizing antibodies, memory B cell responses and T cell responses as well as more potent neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Delta variant. Moreover, CV2CoV was found to be comparably immunogenic to the BNT162b2 (Pfizer) vaccine in macaques. Although CVnCoV provided partial protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, CV2CoV afforded more robust protection with markedly lower viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Binding and neutralizing antibody titres were correlated with protective efficacy. These data demonstrate that optimization of non-coding regions can greatly improve the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a non-modified mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in non-human primates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Nucleosides/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/standards , Female , Macaca fascicularis/immunology , Male , Nucleosides/genetics , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/standards , Viral Load , /standards
2.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 133(17-18): 931-941, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351300

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We used the RNActive® technology platform (CureVac N.V., Tübingen, Germany) to prepare CVnCoV, a COVID-19 vaccine containing sequence-optimized mRNA coding for a stabilized form of SARS-CoV­2 spike (S) protein encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNP). METHODS: This is an interim analysis of a dosage escalation phase 1 study in healthy 18-60-year-old volunteers in Hannover, Munich and Tübingen, Germany, and Ghent, Belgium. After giving 2 intramuscular doses of CVnCoV or placebo 28 days apart we assessed solicited local and systemic adverse events (AE) for 7 days and unsolicited AEs for 28 days after each vaccination. Immunogenicity was measured as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV­2 S­protein and receptor binding domain (RBD), and SARS-CoV­2 neutralizing titers (MN50). RESULTS: In 245 volunteers who received 2 CVnCoV vaccinations (2 µg, n = 47, 4 µg, n = 48, 6 µg, n = 46, 8 µg, n = 44, 12 µg, n = 28) or placebo (n = 32) there were no vaccine-related serious AEs. Dosage-dependent increases in frequency and severity of solicited systemic AEs, and to a lesser extent local AEs, were mainly mild or moderate and transient in duration. Dosage-dependent increases in IgG antibodies to S­protein and RBD and MN50 were evident in all groups 2 weeks after the second dose when 100% (23/23) seroconverted to S­protein or RBD, and 83% (19/23) seroconverted for MN50 in the 12 µg group. Responses to 12 µg were comparable to those observed in convalescent sera from known COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSION: In this study 2 CVnCoV doses were safe, with acceptable reactogenicity and 12 µg dosages elicited levels of immune responses that overlapped those observed in convalescent sera.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lipids , Middle Aged , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4048, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290662

ABSTRACT

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic necessitates the fast development of vaccines. Recently, viral mutants termed variants of concern (VOC) which may escape host immunity have emerged. The efficacy of spike encoding mRNA vaccines (CVnCoV and CV2CoV) against the ancestral strain and the VOC B.1.351 was tested in a K18-hACE2 transgenic mouse model. Naive mice and mice immunized with a formalin-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 preparation were used as controls. mRNA-immunized mice develop elevated SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibody and neutralization titers which are readily detectable, but significantly reduced against VOC B.1.351. The mRNA vaccines fully protect from disease and mortality caused by either viral strain. SARS-CoV-2 remains undetected in swabs, lung, or brain in these groups. Despite lower neutralizing antibody titers compared to the ancestral strain BavPat1, CVnCoV and CV2CoV show complete disease protection against the novel VOC B.1.351 in our studies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
4.
Biologicals ; 71: 55-60, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1220733

ABSTRACT

The International Alliance for Biological Standardization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations organized a joint webinar on the use of platform technologies for vaccine development. To tackle new emerging infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2, rapid response platforms, using the same basic components as a backbone, yet adaptable for use against different pathogens by inserting new genetic or protein sequences, are essential. Furthermore, it is evident that development of platform technologies needs to continue, due to the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2. The objective of the meeting was to discuss techniques for platform manufacturing that have been used for COVID-19 vaccine development, with input from regulatory authorities on their experiences with, and expectations of, the platforms. Industry and regulators have been very successful in cooperating, having completed the whole process from development to licensing at an unprecedented speed. However, we should learn from the experiences, to be able to be even faster when a next pandemic of disease X occurs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Drug Development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Congresses as Topic , Humans
5.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 57, 2021 Apr 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189227

ABSTRACT

mRNA technologies have recently proven clinical efficacy against coronavirus disease 2019 and are among the most promising technologies to address the current pandemic. Here, we show preclinical data for our clinical candidate CVnCoV, a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA vaccine that encodes full-length, pre-fusion stabilised severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein. In contrast to previously published approaches, CVnCoV is exclusively composed of naturally occurring nucleotides. Immunisation with CVnCoV induced strong humoral responses with high titres of virus-neutralising antibodies and robust T-cell responses. CVnCoV vaccination protected hamsters from challenge with wild-type SARS-CoV-2, demonstrated by the absence of viral replication in the lungs. Hamsters vaccinated with a suboptimal dose of CVnCoV leading to breakthrough viral replication exhibited no evidence of vaccine-enhanced disease. Overall, data presented here provide evidence that CVnCoV represents a potent and safe vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.

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