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1.
Vaccine ; 40(21): 2960-2969, 2022 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773836

ABSTRACT

The enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion associated with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants demands the development of next-generation vaccines capable of inducing superior protection amid a shifting pandemic landscape. Since a portion of the global population harbors some level of immunity from vaccines based on the original Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 sequence or natural infection, an important question going forward is whether this immunity can be boosted by next-generation vaccines that target emerging variants while simultaneously maintaining long-term protection against existing strains. Here, we evaluated the immunogenicity of INO-4800, our synthetic DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19 currently in clinical evaluation, and INO-4802, a next-generation DNA vaccine designed to broadly target emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, as booster vaccines in nonhuman primates. Rhesus macaques primed over one year prior with the first-generation INO-4800 vaccine were boosted with either INO-4800 or INO-4802 in homologous or heterologous prime-boost regimens. Both boosting schedules led to an expansion of T cells and antibody responses which were characterized by improved neutralizing and ACE2 blocking activity across wild-type SARS-CoV-2 as well as multiple variants of concern. These data illustrate the durability of immunity following vaccination with INO-4800 and additionally support the use of either INO-4800 or INO-4802 in prime-boost regimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
2.
Cell Rep ; 38(5): 110318, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654152

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines may target epitopes that reduce durability or increase the potential for escape from vaccine-induced immunity. Using synthetic vaccinology, we have developed rationally immune-focused SARS-CoV-2 Spike-based vaccines. Glycans can be employed to alter antibody responses to infection and vaccines. Utilizing computational modeling and in vitro screening, we have incorporated glycans into the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and assessed antigenic profiles. We demonstrate that glycan-coated RBD immunogens elicit stronger neutralizing antibodies and have engineered seven multivalent configurations. Advanced DNA delivery of engineered nanoparticle vaccines rapidly elicits potent neutralizing antibodies in guinea pigs, hamsters, and multiple mouse models, including human ACE2 and human antibody repertoire transgenics. RBD nanoparticles induce high levels of cross-neutralizing antibodies against variants of concern with durable titers beyond 6 months. Single, low-dose immunization protects against a lethal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Single-dose coronavirus vaccines via DNA-launched nanoparticles provide a platform for rapid clinical translation of potent and durable coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cricetinae , Epitopes , Guinea Pigs , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/administration & dosage , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/chemistry , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/genetics , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/immunology , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Polysaccharides/genetics , Polysaccharides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccine Potency
3.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(10): 100420, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450242

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has had a dramatic global impact on public health and social and economic infrastructures. Here, we assess the immunogenicity and anamnestic protective efficacy in rhesus macaques of an intradermal (i.d.)-delivered SARS-CoV-2 spike DNA vaccine, INO-4800, currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Vaccination with INO-4800 induced T cell responses and induced spike antigen and RBD binding antibodies with ADCP and ADCD activity. Sera from the animals neutralized both the D614 and G614 SARS-CoV-2 pseudotype viruses. Several months after vaccination, animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 resulting in rapid recall of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein T cell and neutralizing antibody responses. These responses were associated with lower viral loads in the lung. These studies support the immune impact of INO-4800 for inducing both humoral and cellular arms of the adaptive immune system, which are likely important for providing durable protection against COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lung/virology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Female , Injections, Intradermal , Macaca mulatta , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Load
4.
JCI Insight ; 6(10)2021 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197299

ABSTRACT

Emerging coronaviruses from zoonotic reservoirs, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have been associated with human-to-human transmission and significant morbidity and mortality. Here, we study both intradermal and intramuscular 2-dose delivery regimens of an advanced synthetic DNA vaccine candidate encoding a full-length MERS-CoV spike (S) protein, which induced potent binding and neutralizing antibodies as well as cellular immune responses in rhesus macaques. In a MERS-CoV challenge, all immunized rhesus macaques exhibited reduced clinical symptoms, lowered viral lung load, and decreased severity of pathological signs of disease compared with controls. Intradermal vaccination was dose sparing and more effective in this model at protecting animals from disease. The data support the further study of this vaccine for preventing MERS-CoV infection and transmission, including investigation of such vaccines and simplified delivery routes against emerging coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Injections, Intradermal , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/genetics
5.
EClinicalMedicine ; 31: 100689, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-987565

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 is of high urgency. Here the safety and immunogenicity induced by a DNA vaccine (INO-4800) targeting the full length spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2 are described. METHODS: INO-4800 was evaluated in two groups of 20 participants, receiving either 1.0 mg or 2.0 mg of vaccine intradermally followed by CELLECTRA® EP at 0 and 4 weeks. Thirty-nine subjects completed both doses; one subject in the 2.0 mg group discontinued trial participation prior to receiving the second dose. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04336410. FINDINGS: The median age was 34.5, 55% (22/40) were men and 82.5% (33/40) white. Through week 8, only 6 related Grade 1 adverse events in 5 subjects were observed. None of these increased in frequency with the second administration. No serious adverse events were reported. All 38 subjects evaluable for immunogenicity had cellular and/or humoral immune responses following the second dose of INO-4800. By week 6, 95% (36/38) of the participants seroconverted based on their responses by generating binding (ELISA) and/or neutralizing antibodies (PRNT IC50), with responder geometric mean binding antibody titers of 655.5 [95% CI (255.6, 1681.0)] and 994.2 [95% CI (395.3, 2500.3)] in the 1.0 mg and 2.0 mg groups, respectively. For neutralizing antibody, 78% (14/18) and 84% (16/19) generated a response with corresponding geometric mean titers of 102.3 [95% CI (37.4, 280.3)] and 63.5 [95% CI (39.6, 101.8)], in the respective groups. By week 8, 74% (14/19) and 100% (19/19) of subjects generated T cell responses by IFN-É£ ELISpot assay with the median SFU per 106 PBMC of 46 [95% CI (21.1, 142.2)] and 71 [95% CI (32.2, 194.4)] in the 1.0 mg and 2.0 mg groups, respectively. Flow cytometry demonstrated a T cell response, dominated by CD8+ T cells co-producing IFN-É£ and TNF-α, without increase in IL-4. INTERPRETATION: INO-4800 demonstrated excellent safety and tolerability and was immunogenic in 100% (38/38) of the vaccinated subjects by eliciting either or both humoral or cellular immune responses. FUNDING: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

6.
J Clin Microbiol ; 58(11)2020 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733184

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic of COVID-19, resulting in cases of mild to severe respiratory distress and significant mortality. The global outbreak of this novel coronavirus has now infected >20 million people worldwide, with >5 million cases in the United States (11 August 2020). The development of diagnostic and research tools to determine infection and vaccine efficacy is critically needed. We have developed multiple serologic assays using newly designed SARS-CoV-2 reagents for detecting the presence of receptor-binding antibodies in sera. The first assay is surface plasmon resonance (SPR) based and can quantitate both antibody binding to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and blocking to the Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in a single experiment. The second assay is enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based and can measure competition and blocking of the ACE2 receptor to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with antispike antibodies. The assay is highly versatile, and we demonstrate the broad utility of the assay by measuring antibody functionality of sera from small animals and nonhuman primates immunized with an experimental SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. In addition, we employ the assay to measure receptor blocking of sera from SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. The assay is shown to correlate with pseudovirus neutralization titers. This type of rapid, surrogate neutralization diagnostic can be employed widely to help study SARS-CoV-2 infection and assess the efficacy of vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Blocking/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Primates , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology
7.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 2601, 2020 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326048

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus family member, SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as the causal agent for the pandemic viral pneumonia disease, COVID-19. At this time, no vaccine is available to control further dissemination of the disease. We have previously engineered a synthetic DNA vaccine targeting the MERS coronavirus Spike (S) protein, the major surface antigen of coronaviruses, which is currently in clinical study. Here we build on this prior experience to generate a synthetic DNA-based vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2 S protein. The engineered construct, INO-4800, results in robust expression of the S protein in vitro. Following immunization of mice and guinea pigs with INO-4800 we measure antigen-specific T cell responses, functional antibodies which neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 infection and block Spike protein binding to the ACE2 receptor, and biodistribution of SARS-CoV-2 targeting antibodies to the lungs. This preliminary dataset identifies INO-4800 as a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate, supporting further translational study.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitope Mapping , Guinea Pigs , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lung/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Models, Animal , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Vaccines/chemistry
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