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Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 438, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585880


Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology has shown its power in preventing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Two mRNA vaccines targeting the full-length S protein of SARS-CoV-2 have been authorized for emergency use. Recently, we have developed a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (termed ARCoV), which confers complete protection in mouse model. Herein, we further characterized the protection efficacy of ARCoV in nonhuman primates and the long-term stability under normal refrigerator temperature. Intramuscular immunization of two doses of ARCoV elicited robust neutralizing antibodies as well as cellular response against SARS-CoV-2 in cynomolgus macaques. More importantly, ARCoV vaccination in macaques significantly protected animals from acute lung lesions caused by SARS-CoV-2, and viral replication in lungs and secretion in nasal swabs were completely cleared in all animals immunized with low or high doses of ARCoV. No evidence of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection was observed throughout the study. Finally, extensive stability assays showed that ARCoV can be stored at 2-8 °C for at least 6 months without decrease of immunogenicity. All these promising results strongly support the ongoing clinical trial.

COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , /pharmacology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Macaca fascicularis , Vero Cells , /immunology
Cell ; 182(5): 1271-1283.e16, 2020 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-666099


There is an urgent need for vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Among all approaches, a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccine has emerged as a rapid and versatile platform to quickly respond to this challenge. Here, we developed a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 as a vaccine candidate (called ARCoV). Intramuscular immunization of ARCoV mRNA-LNP elicited robust neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as well as a Th1-biased cellular response in mice and non-human primates. Two doses of ARCoV immunization in mice conferred complete protection against the challenge of a SARS-CoV-2 mouse-adapted strain. Additionally, ARCoV is manufactured as a liquid formulation and can be stored at room temperature for at least 1 week. ARCoV is currently being evaluated in phase 1 clinical trials.

RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Injections, Intramuscular , Macaca fascicularis , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred ICR , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccine Potency , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/genetics
Cell Host Microbe ; 28(1): 124-133.e4, 2020 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-378130


Since December 2019, a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has emerged and rapidly spread throughout the world, resulting in a global public health emergency. The lack of vaccine and antivirals has brought an urgent need for an animal model. Human angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) has been identified as a functional receptor for SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we generated a mouse model expressing human ACE2 (hACE2) by using CRISPR/Cas9 knockin technology. In comparison with wild-type C57BL/6 mice, both young and aged hACE2 mice sustained high viral loads in lung, trachea, and brain upon intranasal infection. Although fatalities were not observed, interstitial pneumonia and elevated cytokines were seen in SARS-CoV-2 infected-aged hACE2 mice. Interestingly, intragastric inoculation of SARS-CoV-2 was seen to cause productive infection and lead to pulmonary pathological changes in hACE2 mice. Overall, this animal model described here provides a useful tool for studying SARS-CoV-2 transmission and pathogenesis and evaluating COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aging , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Brain/virology , COVID-19 , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/blood , Gene Knock-In Techniques , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/pathology , Nose/virology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Stomach/virology , Trachea/virology , Viral Load , Virus Replication