GMP manufacture of Shigella flexneri 2a Artificial Invaplex (InvaplexAR) and evaluation in a Phase 1 Open-label, dose escalating study administered intranasally to healthy, adult volunteers

Christopher Duplessis, Kristen A. Clarkson, K. Ross Turbyfill*, Ashley N. Alcala, Ramiro Gutierrez, Mark S. Riddle, Tida Lee, Kristopher Paolino, Hailey P. Weerts, Amanda Lynen, Edwin V. Oaks, Chad K. Porter, Robert Kaminski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Shigella species cause severe disease among travelers to, and children living in, endemic countries. Although significant efforts have been made to improve sanitation, increased antibiotic resistance and other factors suggest an effective vaccine is a critical need. Artificial Invaplex (InvaplexAR) is a subunit vaccine approach complexing Shigella LPS with invasion plasmid antigens. In pre-clinical studies, the InvaplexAR vaccine demonstrated increased immunogenicity as compared to the first generation product and was subsequently manufactured under cGMP for clinical testing in a first-in-human Phase 1 study. The primary objective of this study was the safety of S. flexneri 2a InvaplexAR given by intranasal (IN) immunization (without adjuvant) in a single-center, open-label, dose-escalating Phase 1 trial and secondarily to assess immunogenicity to identify a dose of InvaplexAR for subsequent clinical evaluations. Subjects received three IN immunizations of InvaplexAR, two weeks apart, in increasing dose cohorts (10 µg, 50 µg, 250 µg, and 500 μg). Adverse events were monitored using symptom surveillance, memory aids, and targeted physical exams. Samples were collected throughout the study to investigate vaccine-induced systemic and mucosal immune responses. There were no adverse events that met vaccination-stopping criteria. The majority (96%) of vaccine-related adverse events were mild in severity (most commonly nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, and post-nasal drip). Vaccination with InvaplexAR induced anti-LPS serum IgG responses and anti-Invaplex IgA and IgG antibody secreting cell (ASC) responses at vaccine doses ≥250 µg. Additionally, mucosal immune responses and functional antibody responses were seen from the serum bactericidal assay measurements. Notably, the responder rates and the kinetics of ASCs and antibody lymphocyte secretion (ALS) were similar, suggesting that either assay may be employed to identify IgG and IgA secreting cells. Further studies with InvaplexAR will evaluate alternative immunization routes, vaccination schedules and formulations to further optimize immunogenicity. (Clinical Trial Registry Number NCT02445963).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6261-6271
Number of pages11
JournalVaccine
Volume41
Issue number42
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Immunogenicity
  • Invaplex
  • Reactogenicity
  • Safety
  • Shigella
  • Subunit vaccine

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