Korang, S. K., et al. (2020). “Vaccines to prevent COVID-19: a protocol for a living systematic review with network meta-analysis including individual patient data (The LIVING VACCINE Project).” Syst Rev 9(1): 262.
BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which has rapidly spread worldwide. Several human randomized clinical trials assessing potential vaccines are currently underway. There is an urgent need for a living systematic review that continuously assesses the beneficial and harmful effects of all available vaccines for COVID-19. METHODS/DESIGN: We will conduct a living systematic review based on searches of major medical databases (e.g., MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL) and clinical trial registries from their inception onwards to identify relevant randomized clinical trials. We will update the literature search once a week to continuously assess if new evidence is available. Two review authors will independently extract data and conduct risk of bias assessments. We will include randomized clinical trials comparing any vaccine aiming to prevent COVID-19 (including but not limited to messenger RNA; DNA; non-replicating viral vector; replicating viral vector; inactivated virus; protein subunit; dendritic cell; other vaccines) with any comparator (placebo; “active placebo;” no intervention; standard care; an “active” intervention; another vaccine for COVID-19) for participants in all age groups. Primary outcomes will be all-cause mortality; a diagnosis of COVID-19; and serious adverse events. Secondary outcomes will be quality of life and non-serious adverse events. The living systematic review will include aggregate data meta-analyses, trial sequential analyses, network meta-analyses, and individual patient data meta-analyses. Within-study bias will be assessed using Cochrane risk of bias tool. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) and Confidence in Network Meta-Analysis (CINeMA) approaches will be used to assess certainty of evidence. Observational studies describing harms identified during the search for trials will also be included and described and analyzed separately. DISCUSSION: COVID-19 has become a pandemic with substantial mortality. A living systematic review assessing the beneficial and harmful effects of different vaccines is urgently needed. This living systematic review will regularly inform best practice in vaccine prevention and clinical research of this highly prevalent disease. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42020196492.
Anderson, E. J., et al. (2020). “Safety and Immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-1273 Vaccine in Older Adults.” N Engl J Med 383(25): 2427-2438.
BACKGROUND: Testing of vaccine candidates to prevent infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in an older population is important, since increased incidences of illness and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have been associated with an older age. METHODS: We conducted a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label trial of a messenger RNA vaccine, mRNA-1273, which encodes the stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S-2P) in healthy adults. The trial was expanded to include 40 older adults, who were stratified according to age (56 to 70 years or ≥71 years). All the participants were assigned sequentially to receive two doses of either 25 μg or 100 μg of vaccine administered 28 days apart. RESULTS: Solicited adverse events were predominantly mild or moderate in severity and most frequently included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site. Such adverse events were dose-dependent and were more common after the second immunization. Binding-antibody responses increased rapidly after the first immunization. By day 57, among the participants who received the 25-μg dose, the anti-S-2P geometric mean titer (GMT) was 323,945 among those between the ages of 56 and 70 years and 1,128,391 among those who were 71 years of age or older; among the participants who received the 100-μg dose, the GMT in the two age subgroups was 1,183,066 and 3,638,522, respectively. After the second immunization, serum neutralizing activity was detected in all the participants by multiple methods. Binding- and neutralizing-antibody responses appeared to be similar to those previously reported among vaccine recipients between the ages of 18 and 55 years and were above the median of a panel of controls who had donated convalescent serum. The vaccine elicited a strong CD4 cytokine response involving type 1 helper T cells. CONCLUSIONS: In this small study involving older adults, adverse events associated with the mRNA-1273 vaccine were mainly mild or moderate. The 100-μg dose induced higher binding- and neutralizing-antibody titers than the 25-μg dose, which supports the use of the 100-μg dose in a phase 3 vaccine trial. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; mRNA-1273 Study ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04283461.).
Folegatti, P. M., et al. (2020). “Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial.” Lancet 396(10249): 467-478.
BACKGROUND: The pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might be curtailed by vaccination. We assessed the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of a viral vectored coronavirus vaccine that expresses the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We did a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial in five trial sites in the UK of a chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein compared with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) as control. Healthy adults aged 18-55 years with no history of laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or of COVID-19-like symptoms were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 at a dose of 5 × 10(10) viral particles or MenACWY as a single intramuscular injection. A protocol amendment in two of the five sites allowed prophylactic paracetamol to be administered before vaccination. Ten participants assigned to a non-randomised, unblinded ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime-boost group received a two-dose schedule, with the booster vaccine administered 28 days after the first dose. Humoral responses at baseline and following vaccination were assessed using a standardised total IgG ELISA against trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, a muliplexed immunoassay, three live SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation assays (a 50% plaque reduction neutralisation assay [PRNT(50)]; a microneutralisation assay [MNA(50), MNA(80), and MNA(90)]; and Marburg VN), and a pseudovirus neutralisation assay. Cellular responses were assessed using an ex-vivo interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The co-primary outcomes are to assess efficacy, as measured by cases of symptomatic virologically confirmed COVID-19, and safety, as measured by the occurrence of serious adverse events. Analyses were done by group allocation in participants who received the vaccine. Safety was assessed over 28 days after vaccination. Here, we report the preliminary findings on safety, reactogenicity, and cellular and humoral immune responses. The study is ongoing, and was registered at ISRCTN, 15281137, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and May 21, 2020, 1077 participants were enrolled and assigned to receive either ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (n=543) or MenACWY (n=534), ten of whom were enrolled in the non-randomised ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime-boost group. Local and systemic reactions were more common in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and many were reduced by use of prophylactic paracetamol, including pain, feeling feverish, chills, muscle ache, headache, and malaise (all p<0·05). There were no serious adverse events related to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. In the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, spike-specific T-cell responses peaked on day 14 (median 856 spot-forming cells per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells, IQR 493-1802; n=43). Anti-spike IgG responses rose by day 28 (median 157 ELISA units [EU], 96-317; n=127), and were boosted following a second dose (639 EU, 360-792; n=10). Neutralising antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 32 (91%) of 35 participants after a single dose when measured in MNA(80) and in 35 (100%) participants when measured in PRNT(50). After a booster dose, all participants had neutralising activity (nine of nine in MNA(80) at day 42 and ten of ten in Marburg VN on day 56). Neutralising antibody responses correlated strongly with antibody levels measured by ELISA (R(2)=0·67 by Marburg VN; p<0·001). INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable safety profile, and homologous boosting increased antibody responses. These results, together with the induction of both humoral and cellular immune responses, support large-scale evaluation of this candidate vaccine in an ongoing phase 3 programme. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland’s NIHR Clinical Research Network, and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner site Gießen-Marburg-Langen.
Jackson, L. A., et al. (2020). “An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 – Preliminary Report.” N Engl J Med 383(20): 1920-1931.
BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019 and spread globally, prompting an international effort to accelerate development of a vaccine. The candidate vaccine mRNA-1273 encodes the stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. METHODS: We conducted a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label trial including 45 healthy adults, 18 to 55 years of age, who received two vaccinations, 28 days apart, with mRNA-1273 in a dose of 25 μg, 100 μg, or 250 μg. There were 15 participants in each dose group. RESULTS: After the first vaccination, antibody responses were higher with higher dose (day 29 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay anti-S-2P antibody geometric mean titer [GMT], 40,227 in the 25-μg group, 109,209 in the 100-μg group, and 213,526 in the 250-μg group). After the second vaccination, the titers increased (day 57 GMT, 299,751, 782,719, and 1,192,154, respectively). After the second vaccination, serum-neutralizing activity was detected by two methods in all participants evaluated, with values generally similar to those in the upper half of the distribution of a panel of control convalescent serum specimens. Solicited adverse events that occurred in more than half the participants included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site. Systemic adverse events were more common after the second vaccination, particularly with the highest dose, and three participants (21%) in the 250-μg dose group reported one or more severe adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: The mRNA-1273 vaccine induced anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified. These findings support further development of this vaccine. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; mRNA-1273 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04283461).
Keech, C., et al. (2020). “Phase 1-2 Trial of a SARS-CoV-2 Recombinant Spike Protein Nanoparticle Vaccine.” N Engl J Med 383(24): 2320-2332.
BACKGROUND: NVX-CoV2373 is a recombinant severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (rSARS-CoV-2) nanoparticle vaccine composed of trimeric full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoproteins and Matrix-M1 adjuvant. METHODS: We initiated a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 1-2 trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the rSARS-CoV-2 vaccine (in 5-μg and 25-μg doses, with or without Matrix-M1 adjuvant, and with observers unaware of trial-group assignments) in 131 healthy adults. In phase 1, vaccination comprised two intramuscular injections, 21 days apart. The primary outcomes were reactogenicity; laboratory values (serum chemistry and hematology), according to Food and Drug Administration toxicity scoring, to assess safety; and IgG anti-spike protein response (in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA] units). Secondary outcomes included unsolicited adverse events, wild-type virus neutralization (microneutralization assay), and T-cell responses (cytokine staining). IgG and microneutralization assay results were compared with 32 (IgG) and 29 (neutralization) convalescent serum samples from patients with Covid-19, most of whom were symptomatic. We performed a primary analysis at day 35. RESULTS: After randomization, 83 participants were assigned to receive the vaccine with adjuvant and 25 without adjuvant, and 23 participants were assigned to receive placebo. No serious adverse events were noted. Reactogenicity was absent or mild in the majority of participants, more common with adjuvant, and of short duration (mean, ≤2 days). One participant had mild fever that lasted 1 day. Unsolicited adverse events were mild in most participants; there were no severe adverse events. The addition of adjuvant resulted in enhanced immune responses, was antigen dose-sparing, and induced a T helper 1 (Th1) response. The two-dose 5-μg adjuvanted regimen induced geometric mean anti-spike IgG (63,160 ELISA units) and neutralization (3906) responses that exceeded geometric mean responses in convalescent serum from mostly symptomatic Covid-19 patients (8344 and 983, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: At 35 days, NVX-CoV2373 appeared to be safe, and it elicited immune responses that exceeded levels in Covid-19 convalescent serum. The Matrix-M1 adjuvant induced CD4+ T-cell responses that were biased toward a Th1 phenotype. (Funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368988).
Logunov, D. Y., et al. (2020). “Safety and immunogenicity of an rAd26 and rAd5 vector-based heterologous prime-boost COVID-19 vaccine in two formulations: two open, non-randomised phase 1/2 studies from Russia.” Lancet 396(10255): 887-897.
BACKGROUND: We developed a heterologous COVID-19 vaccine consisting of two components, a recombinant adenovirus type 26 (rAd26) vector and a recombinant adenovirus type 5 (rAd5) vector, both carrying the gene for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike glycoprotein (rAd26-S and rAd5-S). We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of two formulations (frozen and lyophilised) of this vaccine. METHODS: We did two open, non-randomised phase 1/2 studies at two hospitals in Russia. We enrolled healthy adult volunteers (men and women) aged 18-60 years to both studies. In phase 1 of each study, we administered intramuscularly on day 0 either one dose of rAd26-S or one dose of rAd5-S and assessed the safety of the two components for 28 days. In phase 2 of the study, which began no earlier than 5 days after phase 1 vaccination, we administered intramuscularly a prime-boost vaccination, with rAd26-S given on day 0 and rAd5-S on day 21. Primary outcome measures were antigen-specific humoral immunity (SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies measured by ELISA on days 0, 14, 21, 28, and 42) and safety (number of participants with adverse events monitored throughout the study). Secondary outcome measures were antigen-specific cellular immunity (T-cell responses and interferon-γ concentration) and change in neutralising antibodies (detected with a SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation assay). These trials are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04436471 and NCT04437875. FINDINGS: Between June 18 and Aug 3, 2020, we enrolled 76 participants to the two studies (38 in each study). In each study, nine volunteers received rAd26-S in phase 1, nine received rAd5-S in phase 1, and 20 received rAd26-S and rAd5-S in phase 2. Both vaccine formulations were safe and well tolerated. The most common adverse events were pain at injection site (44 [58%]), hyperthermia (38 [50%]), headache (32 [42%]), asthenia (21 [28%]), and muscle and joint pain (18 [24%]). Most adverse events were mild and no serious adverse events were detected. All participants produced antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein. At day 42, receptor binding domain-specific IgG titres were 14 703 with the frozen formulation and 11 143 with the lyophilised formulation, and neutralising antibodies were 49·25 with the frozen formulation and 45·95 with the lyophilised formulation, with a seroconversion rate of 100%. Cell-mediated responses were detected in all participants at day 28, with median cell proliferation of 2·5% CD4(+) and 1·3% CD8(+) with the frozen formulation, and a median cell proliferation of 1·3% CD4(+) and 1·1% CD8(+) with the lyophilised formulation. INTERPRETATION: The heterologous rAd26 and rAd5 vector-based COVID-19 vaccine has a good safety profile and induced strong humoral and cellular immune responses in participants. Further investigation is needed of the effectiveness of this vaccine for prevention of COVID-19. FUNDING: Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.
Mulligan, M. J., et al. (2020). “Phase I/II study of COVID-19 RNA vaccine BNT162b1 in adults.” Nature 586(7830): 589-593.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)(1), a pandemic. With rapidly accumulating numbers of cases and deaths reported globally(2), a vaccine is urgently needed. Here we report the available safety, tolerability and immunogenicity data from an ongoing placebo-controlled, observer-blinded dose-escalation study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04368728) among 45 healthy adults (18-55 years of age), who were randomized to receive 2 doses-separated by 21 days-of 10 μg, 30 μg or 100 μg of BNT162b1. BNT162b1 is a lipid-nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine that encodes the trimerized receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. Local reactions and systemic events were dose-dependent, generally mild to moderate, and transient. A second vaccination with 100 μg was not administered because of the increased reactogenicity and a lack of meaningfully increased immunogenicity after a single dose compared with the 30-μg dose. RBD-binding IgG concentrations and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing titres in sera increased with dose level and after a second dose. Geometric mean neutralizing titres reached 1.9-4.6-fold that of a panel of COVID-19 convalescent human sera, which were obtained at least 14 days after a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR. These results support further evaluation of this mRNA vaccine candidate.
Polack, F. P., et al. (2020). “Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine.” N Engl J Med 383(27): 2603-2615.
BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have afflicted tens of millions of people in a worldwide pandemic. Safe and effective vaccines are needed urgently. METHODS: In an ongoing multinational, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, pivotal efficacy trial, we randomly assigned persons 16 years of age or older in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses, 21 days apart, of either placebo or the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate (30 μg per dose). BNT162b2 is a lipid nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine that encodes a prefusion stabilized, membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein. The primary end points were efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and safety. RESULTS: A total of 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 (95% credible interval, 90.3 to 97.6). Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups. CONCLUSIONS: A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.).
Ramasamy, M. N., et al. (2021). “Safety and immunogenicity of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine administered in a prime-boost regimen in young and old adults (COV002): a single-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 2/3 trial.” Lancet 396(10267): 1979-1993.
BACKGROUND: Older adults (aged ≥70 years) are at increased risk of severe disease and death if they develop COVID-19 and are therefore a priority for immunisation should an efficacious vaccine be developed. Immunogenicity of vaccines is often worse in older adults as a result of immunosenescence. We have reported the immunogenicity of a novel chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), in young adults, and now describe the safety and immunogenicity of this vaccine in a wider range of participants, including adults aged 70 years and older. METHODS: In this report of the phase 2 component of a single-blind, randomised, controlled, phase 2/3 trial (COV002), healthy adults aged 18 years and older were enrolled at two UK clinical research facilities, in an age-escalation manner, into 18-55 years, 56-69 years, and 70 years and older immunogenicity subgroups. Participants were eligible if they did not have severe or uncontrolled medical comorbidities or a high frailty score (if aged ≥65 years). First, participants were recruited to a low-dose cohort, and within each age group, participants were randomly assigned to receive either intramuscular ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (2·2 × 10(10) virus particles) or a control vaccine, MenACWY, using block randomisation and stratified by age and dose group and study site, using the following ratios: in the 18-55 years group, 1:1 to either two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or two doses of MenACWY; in the 56-69 years group, 3:1:3:1 to one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, one dose of MenACWY, two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or two doses of MenACWY; and in the 70 years and older, 5:1:5:1 to one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, one dose of MenACWY, two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or two doses of MenACWY. Prime-booster regimens were given 28 days apart. Participants were then recruited to the standard-dose cohort (3·5-6·5 × 10(10) virus particles of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) and the same randomisation procedures were followed, except the 18-55 years group was assigned in a 5:1 ratio to two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or two doses of MenACWY. Participants and investigators, but not staff administering the vaccine, were masked to vaccine allocation. The specific objectives of this report were to assess the safety and humoral and cellular immunogenicity of a single-dose and two-dose schedule in adults older than 55 years. Humoral responses at baseline and after each vaccination until 1 year after the booster were assessed using an in-house standardised ELISA, a multiplex immunoassay, and a live severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) microneutralisation assay (MNA(80)). Cellular responses were assessed using an ex-vivo IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The coprimary outcomes of the trial were efficacy, as measured by the number of cases of symptomatic, virologically confirmed COVID-19, and safety, as measured by the occurrence of serious adverse events. Analyses were by group allocation in participants who received the vaccine. Here, we report the preliminary findings on safety, reactogenicity, and cellular and humoral immune responses. This study is ongoing and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04400838, and ISRCTN, 15281137. FINDINGS: Between May 30 and Aug 8, 2020, 560 participants were enrolled: 160 aged 18-55 years (100 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, 60 assigned to MenACWY), 160 aged 56-69 years (120 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 40 assigned to MenACWY), and 240 aged 70 years and older (200 assigned to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 40 assigned to MenACWY). Seven participants did not receive the boost dose of their assigned two-dose regimen, one participant received the incorrect vaccine, and three were excluded from immunogenicity analyses due to incorrectly labelled samples. 280 (50%) of 552 analysable participants were female. Local and systemic reactions were more common in participants given ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 than in those given the control vaccine, and similar in nature to those previously reported (injection-site pain, feeling feverish, muscle ache, headache), but were less common in older adults (aged ≥56 years) than younger adults. In those receiving two standard doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, after the prime vaccination local reactions were reported in 43 (88%) of 49 participants in the 18-55 years group, 22 (73%) of 30 in the 56-69 years group, and 30 (61%) of 49 in the 70 years and older group, and systemic reactions in 42 (86%) participants in the 18-55 years group, 23 (77%) in the 56-69 years group, and 32 (65%) in the 70 years and older group. As of Oct 26, 2020, 13 serious adverse events occurred during the study period, none of which were considered to be related to either study vaccine. In participants who received two doses of vaccine, median anti-spike SARS-CoV-2 IgG responses 28 days after the boost dose were similar across the three age cohorts (standard-dose groups: 18-55 years, 20 713 arbitrary units [AU]/mL [IQR 13 898-33 550], n=39; 56-69 years, 16 170 AU/mL [10 233-40 353], n=26; and ≥70 years 17 561 AU/mL [9705-37 796], n=47; p=0·68). Neutralising antibody titres after a boost dose were similar across all age groups (median MNA(80) at day 42 in the standard-dose groups: 18-55 years, 193 [IQR 113-238], n=39; 56-69 years, 144 [119-347], n=20; and ≥70 years, 161 [73-323], n=47; p=0·40). By 14 days after the boost dose, 208 (>99%) of 209 boosted participants had neutralising antibody responses. T-cell responses peaked at day 14 after a single standard dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (18-55 years: median 1187 spot-forming cells [SFCs] per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells [IQR 841-2428], n=24; 56-69 years: 797 SFCs [383-1817], n=29; and ≥70 years: 977 SFCs [458-1914], n=48). INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 appears to be better tolerated in older adults than in younger adults and has similar immunogenicity across all age groups after a boost dose. Further assessment of the efficacy of this vaccine is warranted in all age groups and individuals with comorbidities. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midlands NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca.
Sahin, U., et al. (2020). “COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b1 elicits human antibody and T(H)1 T cell responses.” Nature 586(7830): 594-599.
An effective vaccine is needed to halt the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Recently, we reported safety, tolerability and antibody response data from an ongoing placebo-controlled, observer-blinded phase I/II coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine trial with BNT162b1, a lipid nanoparticle-formulated nucleoside-modified mRNA that encodes the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein(1). Here we present antibody and T cell responses after vaccination with BNT162b1 from a second, non-randomized open-label phase I/II trial in healthy adults, 18-55 years of age. Two doses of 1-50 μg of BNT162b1 elicited robust CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses and strong antibody responses, with RBD-binding IgG concentrations clearly above those seen in serum from a cohort of individuals who had recovered from COVID-19. Geometric mean titres of SARS-CoV-2 serum-neutralizing antibodies on day 43 were 0.7-fold (1-μg dose) to 3.5-fold (50-μg dose) those of the recovered individuals. Immune sera broadly neutralized pseudoviruses with diverse SARS-CoV-2 spike variants. Most participants had T helper type 1 (T(H)1)-skewed T cell immune responses with RBD-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cell expansion. Interferon-γ was produced by a large fraction of RBD-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells. The robust RBD-specific antibody, T cell and favourable cytokine responses induced by the BNT162b1 mRNA vaccine suggest that it has the potential to protect against COVID-19 through multiple beneficial mechanisms.
Walsh, E. E., et al. (2020). “Safety and Immunogenicity of Two RNA-Based Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates.” N Engl J Med 383(25): 2439-2450.
BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and the resulting disease, coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), have spread to millions of persons worldwide. Multiple vaccine candidates are under development, but no vaccine is currently available. Interim safety and immunogenicity data about the vaccine candidate BNT162b1 in younger adults have been reported previously from trials in Germany and the United States. METHODS: In an ongoing, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, dose-escalation, phase 1 trial conducted in the United States, we randomly assigned healthy adults 18 to 55 years of age and those 65 to 85 years of age to receive either placebo or one of two lipid nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine candidates: BNT162b1, which encodes a secreted trimerized SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain; or BNT162b2, which encodes a membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike, stabilized in the prefusion conformation. The primary outcome was safety (e.g., local and systemic reactions and adverse events); immunogenicity was a secondary outcome. Trial groups were defined according to vaccine candidate, age of the participants, and vaccine dose level (10 μg, 20 μg, 30 μg, and 100 μg). In all groups but one, participants received two doses, with a 21-day interval between doses; in one group (100 μg of BNT162b1), participants received one dose. RESULTS: A total of 195 participants underwent randomization. In each of 13 groups of 15 participants, 12 participants received vaccine and 3 received placebo. BNT162b2 was associated with a lower incidence and severity of systemic reactions than BNT162b1, particularly in older adults. In both younger and older adults, the two vaccine candidates elicited similar dose-dependent SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing geometric mean titers, which were similar to or higher than the geometric mean titer of a panel of SARS-CoV-2 convalescent serum samples. CONCLUSIONS: The safety and immunogenicity data from this U.S. phase 1 trial of two vaccine candidates in younger and older adults, added to earlier interim safety and immunogenicity data regarding BNT162b1 in younger adults from trials in Germany and the United States, support the selection of BNT162b2 for advancement to a pivotal phase 2-3 safety and efficacy evaluation. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.).
Xia, S., et al. (2021). “Safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, BBIBP-CorV: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1/2 trial.” Lancet Infect Dis 21(1): 39-51.
BACKGROUND: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic warrants accelerated efforts to test vaccine candidates. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine candidate, BBIBP-CorV, in humans. METHODS: We did a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1/2 trial at Shangqiu City Liangyuan District Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Henan Province, China. In phase 1, healthy people aged 18-80 years, who were negative for serum-specific IgM/IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 at the time of screening, were separated into two age groups (18-59 years and ≥60 years) and randomly assigned to receive vaccine or placebo in a two-dose schedule of 2 μg, 4 μg, or 8 μg on days 0 and 28. In phase 2, healthy adults (aged 18-59 years) were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) to receive vaccine or placebo on a single-dose schedule of 8 μg on day 0 or on a two-dose schedule of 4 μg on days 0 and 14, 0 and 21, or 0 and 28. Participants within each cohort were randomly assigned by stratified block randomisation (block size eight) and allocated (3:1) to receive vaccine or placebo. Group allocation was concealed from participants, investigators, and outcome assessors. The primary outcomes were safety and tolerability. The secondary outcome was immunogenicity, assessed as the neutralising antibody responses against infectious SARS-CoV-2. This study is registered with www.chictr.org.cn, ChiCTR2000032459. FINDINGS: In phase 1, 192 participants were enrolled (mean age 53·7 years [SD 15·6]) and were randomly assigned to receive vaccine (2 μg [n=24], 4 μg [n=24], or 8 μg [n=24] for both age groups [18-59 years and ≥60 years]) or placebo (n=24). At least one adverse reaction was reported within the first 7 days of inoculation in 42 (29%) of 144 vaccine recipients. The most common systematic adverse reaction was fever (18-59 years, one [4%] in the 2 μg group, one [4%] in the 4 μg group, and two [8%] in the 8 μg group; ≥60 years, one [4%] in the 8 μg group). All adverse reactions were mild or moderate in severity. No serious adverse event was reported within 28 days post vaccination. Neutralising antibody geometric mean titres were higher at day 42 in the group aged 18-59 years (87·7 [95% CI 64·9-118·6], 2 μg group; 211·2 [158·9-280·6], 4 μg group; and 228·7 [186·1-281·1], 8 μg group) and the group aged 60 years and older (80·7 [65·4-99·6], 2 μg group; 131·5 [108·2-159·7], 4 μg group; and 170·87 [133·0-219·5], 8 μg group) compared with the placebo group (2·0 [2·0-2·0]). In phase 2, 448 participants were enrolled (mean age 41·7 years [SD 9·9]) and were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine (8 μg on day 0 [n=84] or 4 μg on days 0 and 14 [n=84], days 0 and 21 [n=84], or days 0 and 28 [n=84]) or placebo on the same schedules (n=112). At least one adverse reaction within the first 7 days was reported in 76 (23%) of 336 vaccine recipients (33 [39%], 8 μg day 0; 18 [21%], 4 μg days 0 and 14; 15 [18%], 4 μg days 0 and 21; and ten [12%], 4 μg days 0 and 28). One placebo recipient in the 4 μg days 0 and 21 group reported grade 3 fever, but was self-limited and recovered. All other adverse reactions were mild or moderate in severity. The most common systematic adverse reaction was fever (one [1%], 8 μg day 0; one [1%], 4 μg days 0 and 14; three [4%], 4 μg days 0 and 21; two [2%], 4 μg days 0 and 28). The vaccine-elicited neutralising antibody titres on day 28 were significantly greater in the 4 μg days 0 and 14 (169·5, 95% CI 132·2-217·1), days 0 and 21 (282·7, 221·2-361·4), and days 0 and 28 (218·0, 181·8-261·3) schedules than the 8 μg day 0 schedule (14·7, 11·6-18·8; all p<0·001). INTERPRETATION: The inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, BBIBP-CorV, is safe and well tolerated at all tested doses in two age groups. Humoral responses against SARS-CoV-2 were induced in all vaccine recipients on day 42. Two-dose immunisation with 4 μg vaccine on days 0 and 21 or days 0 and 28 achieved higher neutralising antibody titres than the single 8 μg dose or 4 μg dose on days 0 and 14. FUNDING: National Program on Key Research Project of China, National Mega projects of China for Major Infectious Diseases, National Mega Projects of China for New Drug Creation, and Beijing Science and Technology Plan.
Zhu, F. C., et al. (2020). “Immunogenicity and safety of a recombinant adenovirus type-5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine in healthy adults aged 18 years or older: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.” Lancet 396(10249): 479-488.
BACKGROUND: This is the first randomised controlled trial for assessment of the immunogenicity and safety of a candidate non-replicating adenovirus type-5 (Ad5)-vectored COVID-19 vaccine, aiming to determine an appropriate dose of the candidate vaccine for an efficacy study. METHODS: This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial of the Ad5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine was done in a single centre in Wuhan, China. Healthy adults aged 18 years or older, who were HIV-negative and previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection-free, were eligible to participate and were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine at a dose of 1 × 10(11) viral particles per mL or 5 × 10(10) viral particles per mL, or placebo. Investigators allocated participants at a ratio of 2:1:1 to receive a single injection intramuscularly in the arm. The randomisation list (block size 4) was generated by an independent statistician. Participants, investigators, and staff undertaking laboratory analyses were masked to group allocation. The primary endpoints for immunogenicity were the geometric mean titres (GMTs) of specific ELISA antibody responses to the receptor binding domain (RBD) and neutralising antibody responses at day 28. The primary endpoint for safety evaluation was the incidence of adverse reactions within 14 days. All recruited participants who received at least one dose were included in the primary and safety analyses. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04341389. FINDINGS: 603 volunteers were recruited and screened for eligibility between April 11 and 16, 2020. 508 eligible participants (50% male; mean age 39·7 years, SD 12·5) consented to participate in the trial and were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine (1 × 10(11) viral particles n=253; 5 × 10(10) viral particles n=129) or placebo (n=126). In the 1 × 10(11) and 5 × 10(10) viral particles dose groups, the RBD-specific ELISA antibodies peaked at 656·5 (95% CI 575·2-749·2) and 571·0 (467·6-697·3), with seroconversion rates at 96% (95% CI 93-98) and 97% (92-99), respectively, at day 28. Both doses of the vaccine induced significant neutralising antibody responses to live SARS-CoV-2, with GMTs of 19·5 (95% CI 16·8-22·7) and 18·3 (14·4-23·3) in participants receiving 1 × 10(11) and 5 × 10(10) viral particles, respectively. Specific interferon γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay responses post vaccination were observed in 227 (90%, 95% CI 85-93) of 253 and 113 (88%, 81-92) of 129 participants in the 1 × 10(11) and 5 × 10(10) viral particles dose groups, respectively. Solicited adverse reactions were reported by 183 (72%) of 253 and 96 (74%) of 129 participants in the 1 × 10(11) and 5 × 10(10) viral particles dose groups, respectively. Severe adverse reactions were reported by 24 (9%) participants in the 1 × 10(11) viral particles dose group and one (1%) participant in the 5 × 10(10) viral particles dose group. No serious adverse reactions were documented. INTERPRETATION: The Ad5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine at 5 × 10(10) viral particles is safe, and induced significant immune responses in the majority of recipients after a single immunisation. FUNDING: National Key R&D Programme of China, National Science and Technology Major Project, and CanSino Biologics.
Zhu, F. C., et al. (2020). “Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine: a dose-escalation, open-label, non-randomised, first-in-human trial.” Lancet 395(10240): 1845-1854.
BACKGROUND: A vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is urgently needed. We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored COVID-19 vaccine expressing the spike glycoprotein of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strain. METHODS: We did a dose-escalation, single-centre, open-label, non-randomised, phase 1 trial of an Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine in Wuhan, China. Healthy adults aged between 18 and 60 years were sequentially enrolled and allocated to one of three dose groups (5 × 10(10), 1 × 10(11), and 1·5 × 10(11) viral particles) to receive an intramuscular injection of vaccine. The primary outcome was adverse events in the 7 days post-vaccination. Safety was assessed over 28 days post-vaccination. Specific antibodies were measured with ELISA, and the neutralising antibody responses induced by vaccination were detected with SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralisation and pseudovirus neutralisation tests. T-cell responses were assessed by enzyme-linked immunospot and flow-cytometry assays. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04313127. FINDINGS: Between March 16 and March 27, 2020, we screened 195 individuals for eligibility. Of them, 108 participants (51% male, 49% female; mean age 36·3 years) were recruited and received the low dose (n=36), middle dose (n=36), or high dose (n=36) of the vaccine. All enrolled participants were included in the analysis. At least one adverse reaction within the first 7 days after the vaccination was reported in 30 (83%) participants in the low dose group, 30 (83%) participants in the middle dose group, and 27 (75%) participants in the high dose group. The most common injection site adverse reaction was pain, which was reported in 58 (54%) vaccine recipients, and the most commonly reported systematic adverse reactions were fever (50 [46%]), fatigue (47 [44%]), headache (42 [39%]), and muscle pain (18 [17%]. Most adverse reactions that were reported in all dose groups were mild or moderate in severity. No serious adverse event was noted within 28 days post-vaccination. ELISA antibodies and neutralising antibodies increased significantly at day 14, and peaked 28 days post-vaccination. Specific T-cell response peaked at day 14 post-vaccination. INTERPRETATION: The Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine is tolerable and immunogenic at 28 days post-vaccination. Humoral responses against SARS-CoV-2 peaked at day 28 post-vaccination in healthy adults, and rapid specific T-cell responses were noted from day 14 post-vaccination. Our findings suggest that the Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine warrants further investigation. FUNDING: National Key R&D Program of China, National Science and Technology Major Project, and CanSino Biologics.
Chakraborty S, Mallajosyula V, Tato CM, Tan GS, Wang TT (2021). SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in advanced clinical trials: where do we stand. Adv Drug Deliv Rev.[record in pogress]
The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led to the focused application of resources and scientific expertise toward the goal of developing investigational vaccines to prevent COVID-19. The highly collaborative global efforts by private industry, governments and non-governmental organizations have resulted in a number of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates moving to Phase III trials in a period of only months since the start of the pandemic. In this review, we provide an overview of the preclinical and clinical data on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that are currently in Phase III clinical trials and in few cases authorized for emergency use. We further discuss relevant vaccine platforms and provide a discussion of SARS-CoV-2 antigens that may be targeted to increase the breadth and durability of vaccine responses.