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1.
Cell ; 185(13): 2265-2278.e14, 2022 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803705

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough infections by SARS-CoV-2 variants become the global challenge for pandemic control. Previously, we developed the protein subunit vaccine ZF2001 based on the dimeric receptor-binding domain (RBD) of prototype SARS-CoV-2. Here, we developed a chimeric RBD-dimer vaccine approach to adapt SARS-CoV-2 variants. A prototype-Beta chimeric RBD-dimer was first designed to adapt the resistant Beta variant. Compared with its homotypic forms, the chimeric vaccine elicited broader sera neutralization of variants and conferred better protection in mice. The protection of the chimeric vaccine was further verified in macaques. This approach was generalized to develop Delta-Omicron chimeric RBD-dimer to adapt the currently prevalent variants. Again, the chimeric vaccine elicited broader sera neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 variants and conferred better protection against challenge by either Delta or Omicron SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The chimeric approach is applicable for rapid updating of immunogens, and our data supported the use of variant-adapted multivalent vaccine against circulating and emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Cell ; 185(10): 1728-1744.e16, 2022 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767964

ABSTRACT

As the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to drive the worldwide pandemic, there is a constant demand for vaccines that offer more effective and broad-spectrum protection. Here, we report a circular RNA (circRNA) vaccine that elicited potent neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses by expressing the trimeric RBD of the spike protein, providing robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 in both mice and rhesus macaques. Notably, the circRNA vaccine enabled higher and more durable antigen production than the 1mΨ-modified mRNA vaccine and elicited a higher proportion of neutralizing antibodies and distinct Th1-skewed immune responses. Importantly, we found that the circRNARBD-Omicron vaccine induced effective neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron but not the Delta variant. In contrast, the circRNARBD-Delta vaccine protected against both Delta and Omicron or functioned as a booster after two doses of either native- or Delta-specific vaccination, making it a favorable choice against the current variants of concern (VOCs) of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , mRNA Vaccines
3.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 61, 2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758178

ABSTRACT

Variants are globally emerging very quickly following pandemic prototypic SARS-CoV-2. To evaluate the cross-protection of prototypic SARS-CoV-2 vaccine against its variants, we vaccinated rhesus monkeys with three doses of prototypic SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine, followed by challenging with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs). These vaccinated animals produced neutralizing antibodies against Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants, although there were certain declinations of geometric mean titer (GMT) as compared with prototypic SARS-CoV-2. Of note, in vivo this prototypic vaccine not only reduced the viral loads in nasal, throat and anal swabs, pulmonary tissues, but also improved the pathological changes in the lung infected by variants of Alpha, Beta, and Delta. In summary, the prototypic SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine in this study protected against VOCs to certain extension, which is of great significance for prevention and control of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Protection , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Anal Canal/virology , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Nasal Cavity/virology , Pharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Viral Load/drug effects
5.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):S80-S81, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1564873

ABSTRACT

Background Using a computational approach, NL-CVX1 was developed by Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. to create a de novo protein that both blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection and is highly resilient to viral escape. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of NL-CVX1 against variants of the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, including important viral variants of concern (VOC) such as B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1. Methods The relative binding affinity of NL-CVX1 to the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein of VOC was measured using biolayer interferometry (Octet). A competitive ELISA measured the ability of NL-CVX1 to compete with hACE2 for binding to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein from the original strain and VOC. The activity of NL-CVX1 in preventing viral infection was assessed by evaluating the cytopathic effects (CPE) of SARS-CoV-2 in a transmembrane protease, serine 2-expressing Vero E6 cell line (Vero E6/TMPRSS2) and determining the viral load using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in infected cells. A K18hACE2 mouse model of SARS CoV-2 infection was used to study the dose-response of NL-CVX1 anti-viral activity in vivo. Results NL-CVX1 binds the RBD of different VOC of SARS-CoV-2 at low nanomolar concentrations (Fig 1;Kd < 1-~5 nM). When competing with hACE2, NL-CVX1 achieved 100% inhibition against hACE2 binding to the RBD of different VOC with IC50s values ranging from 0.7-53 nM (Fig 2). NL-CVX1 neutralized the B.1.1.7 variant as efficiently as the original strain in Vero E6/TMPRSS2 cells, with EC50 values of 16 nM and 101.2 nM, respectively (Fig 3). In mice, we found that a single intranasal dose of 100 µg NL-CVX1 prevented clinically significant SARS-CoV-2 infection and protected mice from succumbing to infection. Results from additional in vitro and in vivo experiments to be conducted this summer will be presented. Figure 1. NL-CVX1 binds the RBD from multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2 at low nanomolar concentrations. Figure 2. NL-CVX1 achieves 100% inhibition against all strains tested, including SARS-CoV-2 VOC. Figure 3. NL-CVX1 neutralizes the B.1.1.7 variant as efficiently as the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. Conclusion In vitro and in vivo data (Fig 4) demonstrate that NL-CVX1 is a promising drug candidate for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. As a hACE2 mimetic, it is resilient to antibody escape mutations found in SARS-CoV-2 VOC. NL-CVX1 further demonstrates the power and utility of de novo protein design for developing proteins as human therapeutics. Figure 4. NL-CVX1 is effective in preventing clinically significant SARS-CoV-2 viral infection in a K18hACE2 mouse model. Disclosures Matthew Walker, PhD, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Employee, Other Financial or Material Support, Ownership options and stock.) Laurie Tatalick, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Consultant, Other Financial or Material Support, Ownership options and stock.) Marianne Riley, BS, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Employee, Other Financial or Material Support, Ownership options and stock.) Kevin Yu, BS, MS, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Employee, Other Financial or Material Support, Ownership options and stock.) Luis M. Blancas-Mejia, PhD, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Employee, Other Financial or Material Support, Ownership options and stock.) Daniel-Adriano Silva, PhD, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Advisor or Review Panel member, Other Financial or Material Support, Ownership of Neoleukin options and stock) David Shoultz, PhD, MBA, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Employee, Other Financial or Material Support, Ownership options and stock.) Goncalo Bernardes, PhD, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Consultant, Advisor or Review Panel member, Shareholder) Hui-Ling Yen, PhD, Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc. (Grant/Research Support)Saiba AG (Other Financial or Material Support, Received donation from Saiba AG)

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