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JH Erasmus, AP Khandhar, AC Walls, EA Hemann, MA O'Connor, P Murapa, J Archer, S Leventhal, J Fuller, T Lewis, KE Draves, S Randall, KA Guerriero, MS Duthie, D Carter, SG Reed, DW Hawman, H Feldmann, M Gale, D Veesler, P Berglund and DH Fuller
Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, is having a dramatic and deleterious impact on health services and the global economy. Grim public health statistics highlight the need for vaccines that can rapidly confer protection after a single dose and be manufactured using components suitable for scale-up and efficient distribution. In response, we have rapidly developed repRNA-CoV2S, a stable and highly immunogenic vaccine candidate comprised of an RNA replicon formulated with a novel Lipid InOrganic Nanoparticle (LION) designed to enhance vaccine stability, delivery and immunogenicity. We show that intramuscular injection of LION/repRNA-CoV2S elicits robust anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein IgG antibody isotypes indicative of a Type 1 T helper response as well as potent T cell responses in mice. Importantly, a single-dose administration in nonhuman primates elicited antibody responses that potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2. These data support further development of LION/repRNA-CoV2S as a vaccine candidate for prophylactic protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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