A SARS-CoV-2 Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle Vaccine Is Protective and Promotes a Strong Immunological Response in the Cynomolgus Macaque Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Model

Sara C. Johnston*, Keersten M. Ricks, Ines Lakhal-Naouar, Alexandra Jay, Caroline Subra, Jo Lynne Raymond, Hannah A.D. King, Franco Rossi, Tamara L. Clements, David Fetterer, Samantha Tostenson, Camila Macedo Cincotta, Holly R. Hack, Caitlin Kuklis, Sandrine Soman, Jocelyn King, Kristina K. Peachman, Dohoon Kim, Wei Hung Chen, Rajeshwer S. SankhalaElizabeth J. Martinez, Agnes Hajduczki, William C. Chang, Misook Choe, Paul V. Thomas, Caroline E. Peterson, Alexander Anderson, Isabella Swafford, Jeffrey R. Currier, Dominic Paquin-Proulx, Linda L. Jagodzinski, Gary R. Matyas, Mangala Rao, Gregory D. Gromowski, Sheila A. Peel, Lauren White, Jeffrey M. Smith, Jay W. Hooper, Nelson L. Michael, Kayvon Modjarrad, M. Gordon Joyce, Aysegul Nalca, Diane L. Bolton, Margaret L.M. Pitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a staggering impact on social, economic, and public health systems worldwide. Vaccine development and mobilization against SARS-CoV-2 (the etio-logic agent of COVID-19) has been rapid. However, novel strategies are still necessary to slow the pandemic, and this includes new approaches to vaccine development and/or delivery that will improve vaccination compliance and demonstrate efficacy against emerging variants. Here, we report on the immunogenicity and efficacy of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine comprising stabilized, pre-fusion spike protein trimers displayed on a ferritin nanoparticle (SpFN) adjuvanted with either conven-tional aluminum hydroxide or the Army Liposomal Formulation QS-21 (ALFQ) in a cynomolgus macaque COVID-19 model. Vaccination resulted in robust cell-mediated and humoral responses and a significant reduction in lung lesions following SARS-CoV-2 infection. The strength of the immune response suggests that dose sparing through reduced or single dosing in primates may be possible with this vaccine. Overall, the data support further evaluation of SpFN as a SARS-CoV-2 protein-based vaccine candidate with attention to fractional dosing and schedule optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number717
JournalVaccines
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Army Liposomal Formulation QS-21
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • SpFN
  • aluminum hy-droxide
  • ferritin nanoparticle
  • primate
  • vaccine

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