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1.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(10): 1383-1394, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621119

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the scale of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the development of vaccines based on different platforms is essential, particularly in light of emerging viral variants, the absence of information on vaccine-induced immune durability, and potential paediatric use. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of an MF59-adjuvanted subunit vaccine for COVID-19 based on recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein stabilised in a pre-fusion conformation by a novel molecular clamp (spike glycoprotein-clamp [sclamp]). METHODS: We did a phase 1, double-blind, placebo-controlled, block-randomised trial of the sclamp subunit vaccine in a single clinical trial site in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Healthy adults (aged ≥18 to ≤55 years) who had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, reported no close contact with anyone with active or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, and tested negative for pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 immunity were included. Participants were randomly assigned to one of five treatment groups and received two doses via intramuscular injection 28 days apart of either placebo, sclamp vaccine at 5 µg, 15 µg, or 45 µg, or one dose of sclamp vaccine at 45 µg followed by placebo. Participants and study personnel, except the dose administration personnel, were masked to treatment. The primary safety endpoints included solicited local and systemic adverse events in the 7 days after each dose and unsolicited adverse events up to 12 months after dosing. Here, data are reported up until day 57. Primary immunogenicity endpoints were antigen-specific IgG ELISA and SARS-CoV-2 microneutralisation assays assessed at 28 days after each dose. The study is ongoing and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04495933. FINDINGS: Between June 23, 2020, and Aug 17, 2020, of 314 healthy volunteers screened, 120 were randomly assigned (n=24 per group), and 114 (95%) completed the study up to day 57 (mean age 32·5 years [SD 10·4], 65 [54%] male, 55 [46%] female). Severe solicited reactions were infrequent and occurred at similar rates in participants receiving placebo (two [8%] of 24) and the SARS-CoV-2 sclamp vaccine at any dose (three [3%] of 96). Both solicited reactions and unsolicited adverse events occurred at a similar frequency in participants receiving placebo and the SARS-CoV-2 sclamp vaccine. Solicited reactions occurred in 19 (79%) of 24 participants receiving placebo and 86 (90%) of 96 receiving the SARS-CoV-2 sclamp vaccine at any dose. Unsolicited adverse events occurred in seven (29%) of 24 participants receiving placebo and 35 (36%) of 96 participants receiving the SARS-CoV-2 sclamp vaccine at any dose. Vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 sclamp elicited a similar antigen-specific response irrespective of dose: 4 weeks after the initial dose (day 29) with 5 µg dose (geometric mean titre [GMT] 6400, 95% CI 3683-11 122), with 15 µg dose (7492, 4959-11 319), and the two 45 µg dose cohorts (8770, 5526-13 920 in the two-dose 45 µg cohort; 8793, 5570-13 881 in the single-dose 45 µg cohort); 4 weeks after the second dose (day 57) with two 5 µg doses (102 400, 64 857-161 676), with two 15 µg doses (74 725, 51 300-108 847), with two 45 µg doses (79 586, 55 430-114 268), only a single 45 µg dose (4795, 2858-8043). At day 57, 67 (99%) of 68 participants who received two doses of sclamp vaccine at any concentration produced a neutralising immune response, compared with six (25%) of 24 who received a single 45 µg dose and none of 22 who received placebo. Participants receiving two doses of sclamp vaccine elicited similar neutralisation titres, irrespective of dose: two 5 µg doses (GMT 228, 95% CI 146-356), two 15 µg doses (230, 170-312), and two 45 µg doses (239, 187-307). INTERPRETATION: This first-in-human trial shows that a subunit vaccine comprising mammalian cell culture-derived, MF59-adjuvanted, molecular clamp-stabilised recombinant spike protein elicits strong immune responses with a promising safety profile. However, the glycoprotein 41 peptide present in the clamp created HIV diagnostic assay interference, a possible barrier to widespread use highlighting the criticality of potential non-spike directed immunogenicity during vaccine development. Studies are ongoing with alternative molecular clamp trimerisation domains to ameliorate this response. FUNDING: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, National Health and Medical Research Council, Queensland Government, and further philanthropic sources listed in the acknowledgments.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Squalene/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Australia , Female , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Polysorbates , Vaccination/adverse effects , Young Adult
2.
EBioMedicine ; 74: 103729, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555409

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are now being rolled out, a better understanding of immunity to the virus, whether from infection, or passive or active immunisation, and the durability of this protection is required. This will benefit from the ability to measure antibody-based protection to SARS-CoV-2, ideally with rapid turnaround and without the need for laboratory-based testing. METHODS: We have developed a lateral flow POC test that can measure levels of RBD-ACE2 neutralising antibody (NAb) from whole blood, with a result that can be determined by eye or quantitatively on a small instrument. We compared our lateral flow test with the gold-standard microneutralisation assay, using samples from convalescent and vaccinated donors, as well as immunised macaques. FINDINGS: We show a high correlation between our lateral flow test with conventional neutralisation and that this test is applicable with animal samples. We also show that this assay is readily adaptable to test for protection to newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the beta variant which revealed a marked reduction in NAb activity. Lastly, using a cohort of vaccinated humans, we demonstrate that our whole-blood test correlates closely with microneutralisation assay data (specificity 100% and sensitivity 96% at a microneutralisation cutoff of 1:40) and that fingerprick whole blood samples are sufficient for this test. INTERPRETATION: Taken together, the COVID-19 NAb-testTM device described here provides a rapid readout of NAb based protection to SARS-CoV-2 at the point of care. FUNDING: Support was received from the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program and the Australian Government Department of Health. This work was supported by grants from the Department of Health and Human Services of the Victorian State Government; the ARC (CE140100011, CE140100036), the NHMRC (1113293, 2002317 and 1116530), and Medical Research Future Fund Awards (2005544, 2002073, 2002132). Individual researchers were supported by an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Level 1 Investigator Grants (1194036), NHMRC APPRISE Research Fellowship (1116530), NHMRC Leadership Investigator Grant (1173871), NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (1137285), NHMRC Investigator Grants (1177174 and 1174555) and NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowships (1117766 and 1136322). Grateful support was also received from the A2 Milk Company and the Jack Ma Foundation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/immunology , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Australia , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Macaca/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Vaccination
3.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(6): 100296, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225428

ABSTRACT

The capacity of antibodies to engage with immune cells via the Fc region is important in preventing and controlling many infectious diseases. The evolution of such antibodies during convalescence from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is largely unknown. We develop assays to measure Fc-dependent antibody functions against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S)-expressing cells in serial samples from subjects primarily with mild-moderate COVID-19 up to 149 days post-infection. We find that S-specific antibodies capable of engaging Fcγ receptors decay over time, with S-specific antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody-dependent phagocytosis (ADP) activity within plasma declining accordingly. Although there is significant decay in ADCC and ADP activity, they remain readily detectable in almost all subjects at the last time point studied (94%) in contrast with neutralization activity (70%). Although it remains unclear the degree to which Fc effector functions contribute to protection against SARS-CoV-2 re-infection, our results indicate that antibodies with Fc effector functions persist longer than neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Dimerization , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/genetics , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/immunology , Kinetics , Neutralization Tests , Phagocytosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2037, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164849

ABSTRACT

The hallmarks of COVID-19 are higher pathogenicity and mortality in the elderly compared to children. Examining baseline SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive immunological responses, induced by circulating human coronaviruses (hCoVs), is needed to understand such divergent clinical outcomes. Here we show analysis of coronavirus antibody responses of pre-pandemic healthy children (n = 89), adults (n = 98), elderly (n = 57), and COVID-19 patients (n = 50) by systems serology. Moderate levels of cross-reactive, but non-neutralizing, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are detected in pre-pandemic healthy individuals. SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific Fcγ receptor binding accurately distinguishes COVID-19 patients from healthy individuals, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces qualitative changes to antibody Fc, enhancing Fcγ receptor engagement. Higher cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG are observed in healthy elderly, while healthy children display elevated SARS-CoV-2 IgM, suggesting that children have fewer hCoV exposures, resulting in less-experienced but more polyreactive humoral immunity. Age-dependent analysis of COVID-19 patients, confirms elevated class-switched antibodies in elderly, while children have stronger Fc responses which we demonstrate are functionally different. These insights will inform COVID-19 vaccination strategies, improved serological diagnostics and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Middle Aged , Receptors, IgG/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
6.
Immunol Cell Biol ; 98(4): 287-304, 2020 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-685605

ABSTRACT

The human fragment crystallizable (Fc)γ receptor (R) interacts with antigen-complexed immunoglobulin (Ig)G ligands to both activate and modulate a powerful network of inflammatory host-protective effector functions that are key to the normal physiology of immune resistance to pathogens. More than 100 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are approved or in late stage clinical trials, many of which harness the potent FcγR-mediated effector systems to varying degrees. This is most evident for antibodies targeting cancer cells inducing antibody-dependent killing or phagocytosis but is also true to some degree for the mAbs that neutralize or remove small macromolecules such as cytokines or other Igs. The use of mAb therapeutics has also revealed a "scaffolding" role for FcγR which, in different contexts, may either underpin the therapeutic mAb action such as immune agonism or trigger catastrophic adverse effects. The still unmet therapeutic need in many cancers, inflammatory diseases or emerging infections such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires increased effort on the development of improved and novel mAbs. A more mature appreciation of the immunobiology of individual FcγR function and the complexity of the relationships between FcγRs and antibodies is fueling efforts to develop more potent "next-gen" therapeutic antibodies. Such development strategies now include focused glycan or protein engineering of the Fc to increase affinity and/or tailor specificity for selective engagement of individual activating FcγRs or the inhibitory FcγRIIb or alternatively, for the ablation of FcγR interaction altogether. This review touches on recent aspects of FcγR and IgG immunobiology and its relationship with the present and future actions of therapeutic mAbs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal , Immunotherapy , Receptors, IgG/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
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