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1.
Cell ; 184(21): 5432-5447.e16, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454060

ABSTRACT

Understanding vaccine-elicited protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses is key for guiding public health policies. We show that a clinical stage multivalent SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain nanoparticle (RBD-NP) vaccine protects mice from SARS-CoV-2 challenge after a single immunization, indicating a potential dose-sparing strategy. We benchmarked serum neutralizing activity elicited by RBD-NPs in non-human primates against a lead prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike (HexaPro) using a panel of circulating mutants. Polyclonal antibodies elicited by both vaccines are similarly resilient to many RBD residue substitutions tested, although mutations at and surrounding position 484 have negative consequences for neutralization. Mosaic and cocktail nanoparticle immunogens displaying multiple sarbecovirus RBDs elicit broad neutralizing activity in mice and protect mice against SARS-CoV challenge even in the absence of SARS-CoV RBD in the vaccine. This study provides proof of principle that multivalent sarbecovirus RBD-NPs induce heterotypic protection and motivates advancing such broadly protective sarbecovirus vaccines to the clinic.

2.
J Immunol Methods ; 499: 113160, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440196

ABSTRACT

In response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic many vaccines have been developed and evaluated in human clinical trials. The humoral immune response magnitude, composition and efficacy of neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 are essential endpoints for these trials. Robust assays that are reproducibly precise, linear, and specific for SARS-CoV-2 antigens would be beneficial for the vaccine pipeline. In this work we describe the methodologies and clinical qualification of three SARS-CoV-2 endpoint assays. We developed and qualified Endpoint titer ELISAs for total IgG, IgG1, IgG3, IgG4, IgM and IgA to evaluate the magnitude of specific responses to the trimeric spike (S) antigen and total IgG specific to the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2. We also qualified a pseudovirus neutralization assay which evaluates functional antibody titers capable of inhibiting the entry and replication of a lentivirus containing the Spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2. To complete the suite of assays we qualified a plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) methodology using the 2019-nCoV/USA-WA1/2020 isolate of SARS-CoV-2 to assess neutralizing titers of antibodies in plasma from normal healthy donors and convalescent COVID-19 individuals.


Subject(s)
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 710263, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315952

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented global demand for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has demonstrated the need for highly effective vaccine candidates that are thermostable and amenable to large-scale manufacturing. Nanoparticle immunogens presenting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein (S) in repetitive arrays are being advanced as second-generation vaccine candidates, as they feature robust manufacturing characteristics and have shown promising immunogenicity in preclinical models. Here, we used previously reported deep mutational scanning (DMS) data to guide the design of stabilized variants of the RBD. The selected mutations fill a cavity in the RBD that has been identified as a linoleic acid binding pocket. Screening of several designs led to the selection of two lead candidates that expressed at higher yields than the wild-type RBD. These stabilized RBDs possess enhanced thermal stability and resistance to aggregation, particularly when incorporated into an icosahedral nanoparticle immunogen that maintained its integrity and antigenicity for 28 days at 35-40°C, while corresponding immunogens displaying the wild-type RBD experienced aggregation and loss of antigenicity. The stabilized immunogens preserved the potent immunogenicity of the original nanoparticle immunogen, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase I/II clinical trial. Our findings may improve the scalability and stability of RBD-based coronavirus vaccines in any format and more generally highlight the utility of comprehensive DMS data in guiding vaccine design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization Schedule , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mutation , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Linoleic Acids , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells
4.
Nature ; 594(7862): 253-258, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192479

ABSTRACT

The development of a portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate the global population remains an urgent public health imperative1. Here we demonstrate the capacity of a subunit vaccine, comprising the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain displayed on an I53-50 protein nanoparticle scaffold (hereafter designated RBD-NP), to stimulate robust and durable neutralizing-antibody responses and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. We evaluated five adjuvants including Essai O/W 1849101, a squalene-in-water emulsion; AS03, an α-tocopherol-containing oil-in-water emulsion; AS37, a Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist adsorbed to alum; CpG1018-alum, a TLR9 agonist formulated in alum; and alum. RBD-NP immunization with AS03, CpG1018-alum, AS37 or alum induced substantial neutralizing-antibody and CD4 T cell responses, and conferred protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pharynges, nares and bronchoalveolar lavage. The neutralizing-antibody response to live virus was maintained up to 180 days after vaccination with RBD-NP in AS03 (RBD-NP-AS03), and correlated with protection from infection. RBD-NP immunization cross-neutralized the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant efficiently but showed a reduced response against the B.1.351 variant. RBD-NP-AS03 produced a 4.5-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351 whereas the group immunized with RBD-NP-AS37 produced a 16-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351, suggesting differences in the breadth of the neutralizing-antibody response induced by these adjuvants. Furthermore, RBD-NP-AS03 was as immunogenic as a prefusion-stabilized spike immunogen (HexaPro) with AS03 adjuvant. These data highlight the efficacy of the adjuvanted RBD-NP vaccine in promoting protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and have led to phase I/II clinical trials of this vaccine (NCT04742738 and NCT04750343).


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Alum Compounds , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Disease Models, Animal , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Male , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Squalene
5.
Cell ; 183(5): 1367-1382.e17, 2020 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893667

ABSTRACT

A safe, effective, and scalable vaccine is needed to halt the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We describe the structure-based design of self-assembling protein nanoparticle immunogens that elicit potent and protective antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The nanoparticle vaccines display 60 SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domains (RBDs) in a highly immunogenic array and induce neutralizing antibody titers 10-fold higher than the prefusion-stabilized spike despite a 5-fold lower dose. Antibodies elicited by the RBD nanoparticles target multiple distinct epitopes, suggesting they may not be easily susceptible to escape mutations, and exhibit a lower binding:neutralizing ratio than convalescent human sera, which may minimize the risk of vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease. The high yield and stability of the assembled nanoparticles suggest that manufacture of the nanoparticle vaccines will be highly scalable. These results highlight the utility of robust antigen display platforms and have launched cGMP manufacturing efforts to advance the SARS-CoV-2-RBD nanoparticle vaccine into the clinic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vaccination , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Epitopes/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Macaca nemestrina , Male , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells , Young Adult
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