Efficacy of a monovalent (D614) SARS-CoV-2 recombinant protein vaccine with AS03 adjuvant in adults: a phase 3, multi-country study

VAT00008 Study Team

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Background: The literature on first generation COVID-19 vaccines show they were less effective against new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern including Omicron (BA.1, BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants). New vaccines developed against variant strains may provide cross-protection against emerging variants when used as boosters and facilitate vaccination across a range of countries, healthcare settings and populations. However, there are no data on such vaccines when used as a primary series. Methods: A global Phase 3, multi-stage efficacy study (NCT04904549) among adults (≥18 years) was conducted in 53 research centres in eight countries (United States, Honduras, Japan, Colombia, Kenya, India, Ghana, Nepal). Participants were randomized 1:1 to receive two intramuscular injections of a monovalent SARS-CoV-2 recombinant protein vaccine with AS03-adjuvant (10 μg of the spike (S) protein from the ancestral D614 strain) or placebo on Day 1 (D01) and Day 22 (D22). The primary efficacy endpoint was prevention of virologically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection with symptoms of COVID-19-like illness (CLI) ≥14 days after the second injection (post-dose 2 [PD2]) in participants who were SARS-CoV-2 naïve on D01 + D22. Safety and reactogenicity were also evaluated. Findings: Between May 26 and November 7, 2021, 10,114 participants received ≥1 study injection, and 9441 participants received both injections. 2108 (20.8%) participants were SARS-CoV-2 naïve at D01 and D22. The primary endpoint was analysed in a subset of the full analysis set (the modified full analysis set PD2 [mFAS-PD2], excluding participants who did not complete the vaccination schedule or received vaccination despite meeting one of the contraindication criteria, had onset of symptomatic COVID-19 between the first injection and before 14 days after the second injection, or participants who discontinued before 14 days after the second injection [n = 9377; vaccine, n = 4702; placebo, n = 4675]). Data were available for 2051 SARS-CoV-2 naïve and 7159 non-naïve participants. At the cut-off date (January 28, 2022), symptomatic COVID-19 was reported in 169 naïve participants (vaccine, n = 81; placebo, n = 88) ≥14 days PD2, with a vaccine efficacy (VE) of 15.3% (95% CI, −15.8; 38.2). VE regardless of D01/D22 serostatus was 32.9% (95% CI, 15.3; 47.0) and VE in non-naïve participants was 52.7% (95% CI, 31.2; 67.9). Viral genome sequencing was performed up to the data cut-off point and identified the infecting strain in 99/169 adjudicated cases in the PD2 naïve population (Delta [25], Omicron [72], other variants [3], one participant had infection with both Delta and Omicron variants and has been included in the totals for both Delta and Omicron). The vaccine was well-tolerated with an acceptable safety profile. Interpretation: In the context of changing circulating viral variants, it is challenging to induce protection in naïve individuals with a two-dose priming schedule based on the parental D614 strain. However, while the primary endpoint of this trial was not met, the results show that a monovalent D614 vaccine can still be of value in individuals previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Funding: This study was funded in whole or in part by Sanofi and by federal funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the office of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under contract number HHSO100201600005I, and in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense under contract number W15QKN-16-9-1002. The views presented here are those of the authors and do not purport to represent those of the Department of the Army, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. government.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102168
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Efficacy
  • Monovalent
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccine


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