Publications by authors named "Geert Leroux-Roels"

185 Publications

Proof-of-concept of a low-dose unmodified mRNA-based rabies vaccine formulated with lipid nanoparticles in human volunteers: A phase 1 trial.

Vaccine 2021 Feb 22;39(8):1310-1318. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

CureVac AG, Tübingen, Germany. Electronic address:

Introduction: In a first-in-human study immune responses to rabies virus glycoprotein (RABV-G)-mRNA vaccine were dependent on the route of administration, necessitating specialized devices. Following successful preclinical studies with mRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNP), we tested an mRNA-LNP formulation (CV7202).

Methods: In this phase 1, multi-center, controlled study in Belgium and Germany we enrolled 55 healthy 18-40-year-olds to receive intramuscular injections of 5 μg (n = 10), 1 μg (n = 16), or 2 μg (n = 16) CV7202 on Day 1; subsets (n = 8) of 1 μg and 2 μg groups received second doses on Day 29. Controls (n = 10) received rabies vaccine, Rabipur, on Days 1, 8 and 29. Safety and reactogenicity were assessed up to 28 days post-vaccination using diary cards; immunogenicity was measured as RABV-G-specific neutralizing titers (VNT) by RFFIT and IgG by ELISA.

Results: As initially tested doses of 5 μg CV7202 elicited unacceptably high reactogenicity we subsequently tested 1 and 2 μg doses which were better tolerated. No vaccine-related serious adverse events or withdrawals occurred. Low, dose-dependent VNT responses were detectable from Day 15 and by Day 29%, 31% and 22% of 1, 2 and 5 μg groups, respectively, had VNTs ≥ 0·5 IU/mL, considered an adequate response by the WHO. After two 1 or 2 μg doses all recipients had titers ≥ 0.5 IU/mL by Day 43. Day 57 GMTs were not significantly lower than those with Rabipur, which elicited adequate responses in all vaccinees after two doses. CV7202-elicited VNT were significantly correlated with RABV-G-specific IgG antibodies (r = 0.8319, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Two 1 μg or 2 μg doses of CV7202 were well tolerated and elicited rabies neutralizing antibody responses that met WHO criteria in all recipients, but 5 μg had unacceptable reactogenicity for a prophylactic vaccine. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03713086.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.12.070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825876PMC
February 2021

Safety and immunogenicity of two novel type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine candidates compared with a monovalent type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine in healthy adults: two clinical trials.

Lancet 2021 Jan 9;397(10268):39-50. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background: Two novel type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV2) candidates, novel OPV2-c1 and novel OPV2-c2, designed to be more genetically stable than the licensed Sabin monovalent OPV2, have been developed to respond to ongoing polio outbreaks due to circulating vaccine-derived type 2 polioviruses.

Methods: We did two randomised studies at two centres in Belgium. The first was a phase 4 historical control study of monovalent OPV2 in Antwerp, done before global withdrawal of OPV2, and the second was a phase 2 study in Antwerp and Ghent with novel OPV2-c1 and novel OPV2-c2. Eligible participants were healthy adults aged 18-50 years with documented history of at least three polio vaccinations, including OPV in the phase 4 study and either OPV or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) in the novel OPV2 phase 2 study, with no dose within 12 months of study start. In the historical control trial, participants were randomly assigned to either one dose or two doses of monovalent OPV2. In the novel OPV2 trial, participants with previous OPV vaccinations were randomly assigned to either one or two doses of novel OPV2-c1 or to one or two doses of novel OPV2-c2. IPV-vaccinated participants were randomly assigned to receive two doses of either novel OPV2-c1, novel OPV2-c2, or placebo. Vaccine administrators were unmasked to treatment; medical staff performing safety and reactogenicity assessments or blood draws for immunogenicity assessments were masked. Participants received the first vaccine dose on day 0, and a second dose on day 28 if assigned to receive a second dose. Primary objectives were assessments and comparisons of safety up to 28 days after each dose, including solicited adverse events and serious adverse events, and immunogenicity (seroprotection rates on day 28 after the first vaccine dose) between monovalent OPV2 and the two novel OPV2 candidates. Primary immunogenicity analyses were done in the per-protocol population. Safety was assessed in the total vaccinated population-ie, all participants who received at least one dose of their assigned vaccine. The phase 4 control study is registered with EudraCT (2015-003325-33) and the phase 2 novel OPV2 study is registered with EudraCT (2018-001684-22) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04544787).

Findings: In the historical control study, between Jan 25 and March 18, 2016, 100 volunteers were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive one or two doses of monovalent OPV2 (n=50 in each group). In the novel OPV2 study, between Oct 15, 2018, and Feb 27, 2019, 200 previously OPV-vaccinated volunteers were assigned to the four groups to receive one or two doses of novel OPV2-c1 or novel OPV2-c2 (n=50 per group); a further 50 participants, previously vaccinated with IPV, were assigned to novel OPV2-c1 (n=17), novel OPV2-c2 (n=16), or placebo (n=17). All participants received the first dose of assigned vaccine or placebo and were included in the total vaccinated population. All vaccines appeared safe; no definitely vaccine-related withdrawals or serious adverse events were reported. After first doses in previously OPV-vaccinated participants, 62 (62%) of 100 monovalent OPV2 recipients, 71 (71%) of 100 recipients of novel OPV2-c1, and 74 (74%) of 100 recipients of novel OPV2-c2 reported solicited systemic adverse events, four (monovalent OPV2), three (novel OPV2-c1), and two (novel OPV2-c2) of which were considered severe. In IPV-vaccinated participants, solicited adverse events occurred in 16 (94%) of 17 who received novel OPV2-c1 (including one severe) and 13 (81%) of 16 who received novel OPV2-c2 (including one severe), compared with 15 (88%) of 17 placebo recipients (including two severe). In previously OPV-vaccinated participants, 286 (97%) of 296 were seropositive at baseline; after one dose, 100% of novel OPV2 vaccinees and 97 (97%) of monovalent OPV2 vaccinees were seropositive.

Interpretation: Novel OPV2 candidates were as safe, well tolerated, and immunogenic as monovalent OPV2 in previously OPV-vaccinated and IPV-vaccinated adults. These data supported the further assessment of the vaccine candidates in children and infants.

Funding: University of Antwerp and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32541-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811203PMC
January 2021

Safety and immunogenicity of a new Sabin inactivated poliovirus vaccine candidate produced on the PER.C6® cell-line: a phase 1 randomized controlled trial in adults.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2020 Nov 11:1-8. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V ., Leiden, The Netherlands.

This first-in-human study (NCT03032588), conducted in Belgium, evaluated a new inactivated poliovirus vaccines (IPV) candidate based on Sabin poliovirus strains grown on the high-yield PER.C6® cell line. Healthy adults (N = 32) were randomized (1:1) to receive a single dose of PER.C6-based Sabin-IPV (sIPV, 15:35:112.5 DU/dose) or conventional Salk-IPV (cIPV, 40:8:32 DU/dose). Reactogenicity was assessed up to 7 days after vaccination, immunogenicity 28 days after vaccination, and safety up to 6 months after vaccination. Solicited adverse events (AEs) were mild to moderate, no changes of concern in vital signs or safety laboratory values were observed, and no severe AEs (SAEs) or vaccine-related unsolicited AEs were reported after vaccination. A trend to more frequent solicited AEs after sIPV than after cIPV administration was observed. Most participants had preexisting neutralizing antibodies against poliovirus types (titer ≥8), which were strongly boosted by sIPV. Post-vaccination geometric mean titers were high (≥12,000) and similar across the two vaccination groups. Only participants with very high preexisting antibody levels did not show a vaccine-induced response, defined in seropositive participants as a 4-fold titer increase. The 10 initially seronegative (titer <8) participants (n = 5 in each study group) seroconverted and all participants had seroprotective antibody levels post-vaccination. The antibodies elicited by sIPV neutralized both Sabin and Salk poliovirus strains. In conclusion, the PER.C6®-based sIPV was well tolerated and highly immunogenic in adults with preexisting antibodies to poliovirus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2020.1812315DOI Listing
November 2020

Detection of H1 Swine Influenza A Virus Antibodies in Human Serum Samples by Age Group.

Emerg Infect Dis 2020 09;26(9):2118-2128

Most H1 influenza A viruses (IAVs) of swine are derived from past human viruses. As human population immunity against these IAVs gradually decreases, the risk of reintroduction to humans increases. We examined 549 serum samples from persons 0-97 years of age collected in Belgium during 2017-2018 for hemagglutination inhibiting and virus neutralizing antibodies against 7 major H1 swine IAV (swIAV) clades and 3 human progenitor IAVs. Seroprevalence (titers >40) rates were >50% for classical swine and European human-like swIAVs, >24% for North American human-like δ1a and Asian avian-like swIAVs, and <10% for North American human-like δ1b and European avian-like swIAVs, but rates were age-dependent. Antibody titers against human-like swIAVs and supposed human precursor IAVs correlated with correlation coefficients of 0.30-0.86. Our serologic findings suggest that European avian-like, clade 1C.2.1, and North American human-like δ1b, clade 1B.2.2.2, H1 swIAVs pose the highest pandemic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2609.191796DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7454048PMC
September 2020

A Randomized Dose-Escalating Phase I Trial of a Replication-Deficient Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Vector-Based Vaccine Against Human Cytomegalovirus.

J Infect Dis 2020 Apr 21. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Hookipa Pharma Inc., New York, New York, USA.

Background: A vaccine (HB-101) consisting of 2 nonreplicating lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) vectors expressing the human cytomegalovirus antigens glycoprotein B (gB) and the 65-kD phosphoprotein (pp65), respectively, is in development to prevent cytomegalovirus infection.

Methods: HB-101 was tested in cytomegalovirus-naive, healthy adults in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation Phase I trial. Fifty-four subjects received low, medium, or high dose of HB-101 or placebo by intramuscular administration at Month 0, 1, and 3. Safety and immunogenicity were the respective primary and secondary endpoints. Subjects were followed for 12 months after the initial immunization.

Results: Vaccination was associated with transient mild to moderate adverse events. HB-101 administration induced dose-dependent gB- and pp65-specific cellular responses, dominated by pp65-specific CD8 T cells, a high fraction of which were polyfunctional. Two administrations were sufficient to elicit dose-dependent gB-binding and cytomegalovirus-neutralizing antibodies (Abs). Cytomegalovirus-specific immune responses were boosted after each administration. Only 1 of 42 vaccine recipients mounted a transient LCMV vector-neutralizing Ab response.

Conclusions: HB-101 was well tolerated and induced cytomegalovirus-specific polyfunctional CD8 T-cell and neutralizing Ab responses in the majority of subjects. Lack of vector-neutralizing Ab responses should facilitate booster vaccinations. These results justify further clinical evaluation of this vaccine candidate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa121DOI Listing
April 2020

Pregnancy has a minimal impact on the acute transcriptional signature to vaccination.

NPJ Vaccines 2020 25;5:29. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

3Vaccine Institute, St George's, University of London, London, UK.

Vaccination in pregnancy is an effective tool to protect both the mother and infant; vaccines against influenza, pertussis and tetanus are currently recommended. A number of vaccines with a specific indication for use in pregnancy are in development, with the specific aim of providing passive humoral immunity to the newborn child against pathogens responsible for morbidity and mortality in young infants. However, the current understanding about the immune response to vaccination in pregnancy is incomplete. We analysed the effect of pregnancy on early transcriptional responses to vaccination. This type of systems vaccinology approach identifies genes and pathways that are altered in response to vaccination and can be used to understand both the acute inflammation in response to the vaccine and to predict immunogenicity. Pregnant women and mice were immunised with Boostrix-IPV, a multivalent vaccine, which contains three pertussis antigens. Blood was collected from women before and after vaccination and RNA extracted for analysis by microarray. While there were baseline differences between pregnant and non-pregnant women, vaccination induced characteristic patterns of gene expression, with upregulation in interferon response and innate immunity gene modules, independent of pregnancy. We saw similar patterns of responses in both women and mice, supporting the use of mice for preclinical screening of novel maternal vaccines. Using a systems vaccinology approach in pregnancy demonstrated that pregnancy does not affect the initial response to vaccination and that studies in non-pregnant women can provide information about vaccine immunogenicity and potentially safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-0177-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7096498PMC
March 2020

Publisher Correction: Differences in antigenic sites and other functional regions between genotype A and G mumps virus surface proteins.

Sci Rep 2020 Mar 20;10(1):5456. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Department of Biochemistry, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62301-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7083855PMC
March 2020

Safety and immunogenicity of fully liquid and lyophilized formulations of an investigational trivalent group B streptococcus vaccine in healthy non-pregnant women: Results from a randomized comparative phase II trial.

Vaccine 2020 04 10;38(16):3227-3234. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

GSK, Rockville, MD, United States. Electronic address:

Background: We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of liquid and lyophilized formulations of an investigational trivalent group B streptococcus (GBS) vaccine in non-pregnant women and assessed the formulations' equivalence in terms of serotype-specific immune response.

Methods: This phase II, randomized, comparative, observer-blind trial enrolled healthy non-pregnant women 18-40 years of age. Women received a single dose of fully liquid (n = 529) or lyophilized (n = 521) trivalent GBS vaccine on day 1. Safety assessments were performed up to day 181 (study termination). Serotype Ia/Ib/III-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies were measured in sera from women on day 1 (pre-vaccination) and day 31. Equivalence between the two formulations was demonstrated if the two-sided 95% confidence interval (CI) for the ratio (liquid/lyophilized) of the geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) on day 31 was contained in a (0.5, 2.0) interval for each serotype.

Results: Solicited and unsolicited adverse events were reported at similar rates for both formulations. Serious adverse events were reported for six (1.1%) liquid GBS and nine (1.7%) lyophilized GBS vaccinated women, none of which were considered related to vaccination or fatal. On day 31, serotype-specific IgG concentrations were 8-16-fold higher than on day 1 in both groups. Equivalence of the liquid to the lyophilized formulation 30 days post-vaccination was demonstrated as the 95% CIs of the GMC ratios were within the pre-specified interval for the three serotypes: GMC ratios were 1.02 (95% CI: 0.79, 1.32) for serotype Ia, 0.93 (0.71, 1.21) for serotype Ib and 0.99 (0.76, 1.30) for serotype III.

Conclusions: Both formulations of the investigational trivalent GBS vaccine had favorable safety profiles and induced similar GBS serotype-specific antibody concentrations. This study demonstrated that the fully liquid formulation was equivalent to the lyophilized formulation in healthy non-pregnant women in terms of immunogenicity for all three serotypes.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02270944.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.02.085DOI Listing
April 2020

Persistence of vaccine-elicited immune response up to 14 years post-HIV gp120-NefTat/AS01 vaccination.

Vaccine 2020 02 10;38(7):1678-1689. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

GSK, Rixensart and Wavre, Belgium.

Background: Vaccines eliciting protective and persistent immune responses against multiple human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) clades are needed. This study evaluated the persistence of immune responses induced by an investigational, AS01-adjuvanted HIV-1 vaccine as long as 14 years after vaccination.

Methods: This phase I, open-label, descriptive, mono-centric, extension study with a single group (NCT03368053) was conducted in adults who received ≥3 doses of the clade B gp120-NefTat/AS01 vaccine candidate 14 years earlier in a previous clinical trial (NCT00434512). Binding responses of serum antibodies targeting a panel of envelope glycoproteins, including gp120, gp140 and V1V2-scaffold antigens and representative of the antigenic diversity of HIV-1, were measured by binding antibody multiplex assay (BAMA). The gp120-specific CD4+/CD8+ T-cell responses were assessed by intracellular cytokine staining assay.

Results: At Year 14, positive IgG binding antibody responses were detected in 15 out of the 16 antigens from the BAMA V1V2 breadth panel, with positive response rates ranging from 7.1% to 60.7%. The highest response rates were observed for clade B strain V1V2 antigens, with some level of binding antibodies against clade C strains. Anti-V1V2 IgG3 response magnitude breadth, which correlated with decreased risk of infection in a previous efficacy trial, was of limited amplitude. Response rates to the antigens from the gp120 and gp140 breadth panels ranged from 7.7% to 94.1% and from 15.4% to 96.2% at Year 14, respectively. Following stimulation with gp120 peptide pool, highly polyfunctional gp120-specific CD4+ T-cells persisted up to Year 14, with high frequencies of CD40L tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), CD40L interleukin-2 (IL-2), CD40L TNF-α IL-2 and CD40L interferon gamma (IFN-γ) TNF-α IL-2 CD4+ T-cells, but no CD8+ T-cells detected.

Conclusions: Persistent antibodies binding to HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins, including the V1V2-scaffold, and gp120-specific cellular immunity were observed in volunteers vaccinated 14 years earlier with the gp120-NefTat/AS01 vaccine candidate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.12.058DOI Listing
February 2020

Characterization of potential biomarkers of reactogenicity of licensed antiviral vaccines: randomized controlled clinical trials conducted by the BIOVACSAFE consortium.

Sci Rep 2019 12 30;9(1):20362. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

GSK, Siena, Italy.

Biomarkers predictive of inflammatory events post-vaccination could accelerate vaccine development. Within the BIOVACSAFE framework, we conducted three identically designed, placebo-controlled inpatient/outpatient clinical studies (NCT01765413/NCT01771354/NCT01771367). Six antiviral vaccination strategies were evaluated to generate training data-sets of pre-/post-vaccination vital signs, blood changes and whole-blood gene transcripts, and to identify putative biomarkers of early inflammation/reactogenicity that could guide the design of subsequent focused confirmatory studies. Healthy adults (N = 123; 20-21/group) received one immunization at Day (D)0. Alum-adjuvanted hepatitis B vaccine elicited vital signs and inflammatory (CRP/innate cells) responses that were similar between primed/naive vaccinees, and low-level gene responses. MF59-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (ATIV) induced distinct physiological (temperature/heart rate/reactogenicity) response-patterns not seen with non-adjuvanted TIV or with the other vaccines. ATIV also elicited robust early (D1) activation of IFN-related genes (associated with serum IP-10 levels) and innate-cell-related genes, and changes in monocyte/neutrophil/lymphocyte counts, while TIV elicited similar but lower responses. Due to viral replication kinetics, innate gene activation by live yellow-fever or varicella-zoster virus (YFV/VZV) vaccines was more suspended, with early IFN-associated responses in naïve YFV-vaccine recipients but not in primed VZV-vaccine recipients. Inflammatory responses (physiological/serum markers, innate-signaling transcripts) are therefore a function of the vaccine type/composition and presence/absence of immune memory. The data reported here have guided the design of confirmatory Phase IV trials using ATIV to provide tools to identify inflammatory or reactogenicity biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56994-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6937244PMC
December 2019

Clinical trials with GMO-containing vaccines in Europe: Status and regulatory framework.

Vaccine 2019 09 4;37(42):6144-6153. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP), Belgium. Electronic address:

Recombinant technology has revolutionised the way novel vaccines are developed and manufactured. The possibility to genetically modify micro-organisms to bring immunogenic material (antigens/epitopes) to the human (or animal) immune system to provoke an immune response, provides new hope to producing prophylactic vaccines against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis and emerging diseases. Regulatory requirements associated with the development of genetically-modified organism (GMO)-containing vaccines in Europe add an additional burden to the clinical trial application procedure and to the preparation and initiation of a clinical trial of such vaccines. Moreover, the GMO regulatory framework is complex and only partially harmonised across Europe, which may hamper multi-country clinical trials with GMO-containing vaccines. This paper provides an overview of clinical trial applications with GMO-containing vaccines in Europe and reviews the regulatory framework in countries where GMO-containing vaccine clinical trial authorisation (CTA) applications were submitted between 2004 and 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.08.018DOI Listing
September 2019

Immunogenicity and Safety of 3 Formulations of a Respiratory Syncytial Virus Candidate Vaccine in Nonpregnant Women: A Phase 2, Randomized Trial.

J Infect Dis 2019 10;220(11):1816-1825

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Rockville, Maryland.

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory tract illness and hospitalization in neonates and infants. RSV vaccination during pregnancy may protect offspring in their first months of life.

Methods: This randomized, observer-blind, multicenter, phase 2 study evaluated the immunogenicity and safety of an RSV candidate vaccine in healthy nonpregnant women aged 18-45 years. Four hundred participants were randomized (1:1:1:1) to receive a single intramuscular dose of vaccine containing 30 µg, 60 µg, or 120 µg of RSV fusion protein engineered to preferentially maintain a prefusion conformation (RSV-PreF vaccine) or placebo.

Results: Thirty days postvaccination, RSV-A neutralizing antibody geometric mean titers (GMTs) increased 3.75-, 4.42- and 4.36-fold; RSV-B neutralizing antibody GMTs 2.36-, 2.54- and 2.76-fold; and palivizumab competing antibody (PCA) concentrations 11.69-, 14.38- and 14.24-fold compared with baseline levels in the 30 µg, 60 µg, and 120 µg RSV-PreF groups, respectively. Antibody titers and PCA concentrations at day 30 were significantly higher with the 120 µg compared to the 30 µg RSV-PreF vaccine. All RSV-PreF vaccine formulations and the placebo had similar reactogenicity profiles. No serious adverse events were considered to be related to the RSV-PreF vaccine.

Conclusions: The 3 formulations of the investigational RSV-PreF vaccine were well-tolerated and induced RSV-A and RSV-B neutralizing antibodies and PCAs in healthy, nonpregnant women.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02956837.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiz395DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6898794PMC
October 2019

Safety and Immunogenicity of a Second Dose of an Investigational Maternal Trivalent Group B Streptococcus Vaccine in Nonpregnant Women 4-6 Years After a First Dose: Results From a Phase 2 Trial.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 06;70(12):2570-2579

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Rockville, Maryland.

Background: Maternal immunization against group B streptococcus (GBS) could protect infants from invasive GBS disease. Additional doses in subsequent pregnancies may be needed. We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of a second dose of an investigational trivalent CRM197-glycoconjugate GBS vaccine (targeting serotypes Ia/Ib/III), administered to nonpregnant women 4-6 years postdose 1.

Methods: Healthy women either previously vaccinated with 1 dose of trivalent GBS vaccine 4-6 years before enrollment (n = 53) or never GBS vaccinated (n = 27) received a single trivalent GBS vaccine injection. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded. Serotype-specific (Ia/Ib/III) anti-GBS antibodies were measured by multiplex immunoassay prevaccination and 30/60 days postvaccination.

Results: AEs were reported with similar rates after a first or second dose; none were serious. Of previously GBS-vaccinated women, 92%-98% had anti-GBS concentrations that exceeded an arbitrary threshold (8 µg/mL) for each serotype 60 days postdose 2 vs 36%-56% postdose 1 in previously non-GBS-vaccinated women. Of previously GBS-vaccinated women with undetectable baseline (predose 1) anti-GBS levels, 90%-98% reached this threshold postdose 2. For each serotype, anti-GBS geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) 30/60 days postdose 2 in previously GBS-vaccinated women were ≥200-fold higher than baseline GMCs. Among women with undetectable baseline anti-GBS levels, postdose 2 GMCs in previously GBS-vaccinated women exceeded postdose 1 GMCs in previously non-GBS-vaccinated women (≥7-fold).

Conclusions: A second trivalent GBS vaccine dose administered 4-6 years postdose 1 was immunogenic with a favorable safety profile. Women with undetectable preexisting anti-GBS concentrations may benefit from a sufficiently spaced second vaccine dose.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02690181.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7286364PMC
June 2020

Persistence of HBsAg-specific antibodies and immune memory two to three decades after hepatitis B vaccination in adults.

J Viral Hepat 2019 09 2;26(9):1066-1075. Epub 2019 Jun 2.

GSK, Wavre, Belgium.

The duration of protection after hepatitis B vaccination is not exactly known. This phase IV study evaluated antibody persistence and immune memory 20-30 years after adult immunization with recombinant hepatitis B vaccine (HBsAg vaccine, Engerix-B) in routine clinical practice. Men and women 40-60 years old, with documented evidence of vaccination with three or four HBsAg vaccine doses 20-30 years earlier and without subsequent booster, were enrolled and received HBsAg vaccine as challenge dose. HBsAg-specific antibodies (anti-HBs) and frequencies of HBsAg-specific circulating memory B cells and CD4 T cells expressing combinations of activation markers (CD40L, IL2, IFNγ, TNFα) were measured prechallenge, 7 and 30 days postchallenge. Of 101 participants in the according-to-protocol cohort for immunogenicity, 90.1% had anti-HBs concentrations ≥ 10 mIU/mL prechallenge administration; 84.2% and 100% mounted an anamnestic response 7 and 30 days postchallenge, respectively. HBsAg-specific memory B and CD4 T cells expressing at least two activation markers were low prechallenge and increased markedly postchallenge. These results suggest sustained immune memory and long-term protection 20-30 years after a complete primary HBsAg vaccination course during adulthood, in line with current recommendations that a booster is not needed in fully vaccinated immunocompetent adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvh.13125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6852111PMC
September 2019

Safety and immunogenicity of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae-Moraxella catarrhalis vaccine.

Vaccine 2019 05 24;37(23):3113-3122. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

GSK Vaccines, Siena, Italy.

Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and Moraxella catarrhalis (Mcat) are frequent pathogens in acute exacerbations of COPD. We assessed the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of different investigational vaccine formulations containing surface proteins of NTHi (PD and PE-PilA) and Mcat (UspA2) in adults with smoking history ≥10 pack-years, to immunologically represent the COPD population. Participants received two doses 60 days apart in a randomised, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study (NCT02547974). In step 1, 30 healthy adults aged 18-40 years were randomised (1:1) to receive a non-adjuvanted formulation (10-10-PLAIN) or placebo. In step 2, 90 smokers/ex-smokers aged 50-70 years randomly (1:1:1) received an AS01-adjuvanted formulation containing either 10 µg of each antigen (10-10-AS01) or 10 µg of each NTHi antigen and 3.3 µg of Mcat antigen (10-3-AS01), or placebo. Incidences of solicited local adverse events (AEs) tended to be highest in the AS01-adjuvanted vaccine groups. Most solicited AEs had mild/moderate intensity. No vaccine-related serious AEs were reported. The 10-3-AS01 formulation induced the best humoral immune response against the NTHi antigens. Responses against the Mcat antigen were similar across groups, with waning immunogenicity after 30 days post-dose 2. The investigational NTHi-Mcat vaccine had an acceptable safety and reactogenicity profile and good immunogenicity in older adults with a smoking history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.04.041DOI Listing
May 2019

Safety and immunogenicity of a respiratory syncytial virus fusion glycoprotein F subunit vaccine in healthy adults: Results of a phase 1, randomized, observer-blind, controlled, dosage-escalation study.

Vaccine 2019 05 12;37(20):2694-2703. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

GSK, 14200 Shady Grove Rd, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections in infants. An investigational vaccine using an engineered recombinant RSV fusion glycoprotein in its post-fusion conformation (RSV F subunit vaccine) has been developed to protect young infants via maternal immunization. This first-in-human, phase I, observer-blind study (NCT02298179) evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of different dosages and formulations of RSV F subunit vaccine in healthy non-pregnant women and men aged 18-45 years.

Methods: Participants were enrolled (1:1:1) in a stepwise dosage-escalation manner into three cohorts to receive RSV F subunit vaccine containing 45 µg, 90 µg and 135 μg of RSV F glycoprotein. Within each cohort, participants were randomized (1:1:1:1) to receive two doses of RSV F subunit vaccine with (aluminum hydroxide or MF59) or without adjuvant, or placebo, ≥28 days apart. Safety (until day 365 post-dose 2), anti-RSV neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and serum total binding antibodies to RSV F protein (until day 181 post-dose 1) were evaluated.

Results: All formulations were well-tolerated. No vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported. All participants were seropositive for anti-RSV NAbs at baseline, with geometric mean titers (GMTs) ranging from 184 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 127-266) to 380 (95% CI: 272-531). At 28 days post-dose 1, anti-RSV NAb GMTs in vaccine recipients ranged from 893 (95% CI: 702-1,136) to 1,602 (95% CI: 1,243-2,064). No booster effect was observed, but immune responses were maintained above pre-vaccination levels for six months post-dose 1. Ratios of RSV F total binding antibodies fold changes to NAb fold changes ranged from 2.79 to 4.12 at 28 days post-dose 1. The impact of the adjuvant was limited.

Conclusions: A single dose of each formulation of RSV subunit F vaccine was well-tolerated and enhanced preexisting NAb titers through six months of follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.04.011DOI Listing
May 2019

Differences in antigenic sites and other functional regions between genotype A and G mumps virus surface proteins.

Sci Rep 2018 09 6;8(1):13337. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Department of Biochemistry, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

The surface proteins of the mumps virus, the fusion protein (F) and haemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN), are key factors in mumps pathogenesis and are important targets for the immune response during mumps virus infection. We compared the predicted amino acid sequences of the F and HN genes from Dutch mumps virus samples from the pre-vaccine era (1957-1982) with mumps virus genotype G strains (from 2004 onwards). Genotype G is the most frequently detected mumps genotype in recent outbreaks in vaccinated communities, especially in Western Europe, the USA and Japan. Amino acid differences between the Jeryl Lynn vaccine strains (genotype A) and genotype G strains were predominantly located in known B-cell epitopes and in N-linked glycosylation sites on the HN protein. There were eight variable amino acid positions specific to genotype A or genotype G sequences in five known B-cell epitopes of the HN protein. These differences may account for the reported antigenic differences between Jeryl Lynn and genotype G strains. We also found amino acid differences in and near sites on the HN protein that have been reported to play a role in mumps virus pathogenesis. These differences may contribute to the occurrence of genotype G outbreaks in vaccinated communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31630-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6127219PMC
September 2018

A sporozoite-based vaccination platform against human malaria.

NPJ Vaccines 2018 24;3:33. Epub 2018 Aug 24.

1Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Professor Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal.

There is a pressing need for safe and highly effective () malaria vaccines. The circumsporozoite protein (CS), expressed on sporozoites and during early hepatic stages, is a leading target vaccine candidate, but clinical efficacy has been modest so far. Conversely, whole-sporozoite (WSp) vaccines have consistently shown high levels of sterilizing immunity and constitute a promising approach to effective immunization against malaria. Here, we describe a novel WSp malaria vaccine that employs transgenic sporozoites of rodent () parasites as cross-species immunizing agents and as platforms for expression and delivery of CS (Vac). We show that both wild-type and Vac sporozoites unabatedly infect and develop in human hepatocytes while unable to establish an infection in human red blood cells. In a rabbit model, similarly susceptible to hepatic but not blood infection, we show that Vac elicits cross-species cellular immune responses, as well as CS-specific antibodies that efficiently inhibit sporozoite liver invasion in human hepatocytes and in mice with humanized livers. Thus, Vac is safe and induces functional immune responses in preclinical studies, warranting clinical testing and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-018-0068-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6109154PMC
August 2018

Adjuvant-Associated Peripheral Blood mRNA Profiles and Kinetics Induced by the Adjuvanted Recombinant Protein Candidate Tuberculosis Vaccine M72/AS01 in Bacillus Calmette-Guérin-Vaccinated Adults.

Front Immunol 2018 26;9:564. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

GSK, Wavre, Belgium.

Systems biology has the potential to identify gene signatures associated with vaccine immunogenicity and protective efficacy. The main objective of this study was to identify optimal postvaccination time points for evaluating peripheral blood RNA expression profiles in relation to vaccine immunogenicity and potential efficacy in recipients of the candidate tuberculosis vaccine M72/AS01. In this phase II open-label study (NCT01669096; https://clinicaltrials.gov/), healthy Bacillus Calmette-Guérin-primed, HIV-negative adults were administered two doses (30 days apart) of M72/AS01. Twenty subjects completed the study and 18 subjects received two doses. Blood samples were collected pre-dose 1, pre-dose 2, and 1, 7, 10, 14, 17, and 30 days post-dose 2. RNA expression in whole blood (WB) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was quantified using microarray technology. Serum interferon-gamma responses and M72-specific CD4 T cell responses to vaccination, and the observed safety profile were similar to previous trials. Two different approaches were utilized to analyze the RNA expression data. First, a kinetic analysis of RNA expression changes using blood transcription modules revealed early (1 day post-dose 2) activation of several pathways related to innate immune activation, both in WB and PBMC. Second, using a previously identified gene signature as a classifier, optimal postvaccination time points were identified. Since M72/AS01 efficacy remains to be established, a PBMC-derived gene signature associated with the protective efficacy of a similarly adjuvanted candidate malaria vaccine was used as a proxy for this purpose. This approach was based on the assumption that the AS01 adjuvant used in both studies could induce shared innate immune pathways. Subjects were classified as gene signature positive (GS) or gene signature negative (GS). Assignments of subjects to GS or GS groups were confirmed by significant differences in RNA expression of the gene signature genes in PBMCs at 14 days post-dose 2 relative to prevaccination and in WB samples at 7, 10, 14, and 17 days post-dose 2 relative to prevaccination. Hence, in comparison with a prevaccination, 7, 10, 14, and 17 days postvaccination appeared to be suitable time points for identifying potentially clinically relevant transcriptome responses to M72/AS01 in WB samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00564DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879450PMC
May 2019

A phase I, randomized, controlled, dose-ranging study of investigational acellular pertussis (aP) and reduced tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (TdaP) booster vaccines in adults.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 01 27;14(1):45-58. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

b GSK, Vaccines , Siena , Italy.

Despite high vaccination coverage worldwide, pertussis has re-emerged in many countries. This randomized, controlled, observer-blind phase I study and extension study in Belgium (March 2012-June 2015) assessed safety and immunogenicity of investigational acellular pertussis vaccines containing genetically detoxified pertussis toxin (PT) (NCT01529645; NCT02382913). 420 healthy adults (average age: 26.8 ± 5.5 years, 60% female) were randomized to 1 of 10 vaccine groups: 3 investigational aP vaccines (containing pertussis antigens PT, filamentous hemagglutinin [FHA] and pertactin [PRN] at different dosages), 6 investigational TdaP (additionally containing tetanus toxoid [TT] and diphtheria toxoid [DT]), and 1 TdaP comparator containing chemically inactivated PT. Antibody responses were evaluated on days 1, 8, 30, 180, 365, and approximately 3 years post-booster vaccination. Cell-mediated immune responses and PT neutralization were evaluated in a subset of participants in pre-selected groups. Local and systemic adverse events (AEs), and unsolicited AEs were collected through day 7 and 30, respectively; serious AEs and AEs leading to study withdrawal were collected through day 365 post-vaccination. Antibody responses against pertussis antigens peaked at day 30 post-vaccination and then declined but remained above baseline level at approximately 3 years post-vaccination. Responses to FHA and PRN were correlated to antigen dose. Antibody responses specific to PT, toxin neutralization activity and persistence induced by investigational formulations were similar or significantly higher than the licensed vaccine, despite lower PT doses. Of 15 serious AEs, none were considered vaccination-related; 1 led to study withdrawal (premature labor, day 364; aP4 group). This study confirmed the potential benefits of genetically detoxified PT antigen. All investigational study formulations were well tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2017.1385686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5791588PMC
January 2018

Safety and Immunogenicity of Different Formulations of Norovirus Vaccine Candidate in Healthy Adults: A Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial.

J Infect Dis 2018 01;217(4):597-607

Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Background: We investigated safety and immunogenicity of 1-2 doses of different bivalent virus-like particle (VLP) norovirus vaccine candidate (NoV) formulations in healthy 18- to 64-year-olds.

Methods: On days 1 and 28, participants (n = 420) randomized to 14 equal groups received intramuscular control vaccine (hepatitis A) or 1 of 11 NoV formulations containing varying dosages of GI.1 and GII.4c genotype VLP antigens with aluminum hydroxide [Al(OH)3], and 0 μg, 15 μg, or 50 μg monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL). Immunogenicity was assessed on days 1, 28, 56, 208 and 393. Solicited local and systemic reactions were recorded for 7 days, unsolicited adverse events (AEs) until day 56, and serious AEs throughout the trial.

Results: All NoV formulations induced similar increases in pan-immunoglobulin, immunoglobulin A, and histo-blood group binding antigen-blocking antibodies by day 56, mostly after 1 dose, that persisted above baseline to day 393. Higher GI.1 content interfered with GII.4c responses, and responses did not benefit from MPL. Overall reactogenicity consisted of mainly mild injection site pain, headache, and fatigue. No vaccine-related serious AEs were reported.

Conclusions: All candidate NoV formulations were well tolerated. Overall, 15 μg GI.1/50 μg GII.4c elicited the best balance of immunogenicity with no clear benefit of MPL, and is the candidate formulation being taken forward in clinical development.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02038907.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix572DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5853300PMC
January 2018

Development and characterization of a human monoclonal antibody targeting the N-terminal region of hepatitis C virus envelope glycoprotein E1.

Virology 2018 01 10;514:30-41. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

Department of Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting the hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope have been raised mainly against envelope protein 2 (E2), while the antigenic epitopes of envelope protein 1 (E1) are not fully identified. Here we describe the detailed characterization of a human mAb, designated A6, generated from an HCV genotype 1b infected patient. ELISA results showed reactivity of mAb A6 to full-length HCV E1E2 of genotypes 1a, 1b and 2a. Epitope mapping identified a region spanning amino acids 230-239 within the N-terminal region of E1 as critical for binding. Antibody binding to this epitope was not conformation dependent. Neutralization assays showed that mAb A6 lacks neutralizing capacity and does not interfere with the activity of known neutralizing antibodies. In summary, mAb A6 is an important tool to study the structure and function of E1 within the viral envelope, a crucial step in the development of an effective prophylactic HCV vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2017.10.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5784761PMC
January 2018

A randomized lot-to-lot immunogenicity consistency study of the candidate zoster vaccine HZ/su.

Vaccine 2017 12 24;35(48 Pt B):6700-6706. Epub 2017 Oct 24.

Pfizer Inc., 500 Arcola Road, Collegeville, PA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The risk of developing herpes zoster (HZ) increases with age and is thought to be associated with a decrease in cell-mediated immunity in older adults. The adjuvanted varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E (gE) recombinant subunit vaccine (HZ/su) showed >90% efficacy in the prevention of HZ when administered in adults ≥50 years of age. Here we aim to evaluate immunogenicity consistency of 3 different HZ/su vaccine lots and to assess safety of these lots.

Methods: This multicenter, phase III, double-blind, randomized study (NCT02075515), assessed lot-to-lot consistency in terms of immunogenicity of HZ/su and also assessed safety of these lots. Participants aged 50 years or older were randomized (1:1:1) to receive 2 doses of HZ/su, 2 months apart, from 1 out of 3 randomized HZ/su lots (Lots A, B and C). Humoral immunogenicity was assessed pre-vaccination and 1 month post-second vaccination by anti-gE antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lot-to-lot consistency was demonstrated if the 2-sided 95% confidence intervals of the anti-gE geometric mean concentration ratio between all lot pairs were within 0.67 and 1.5. Solicited symptoms were recorded within 7 days and unsolicited adverse events (AEs) within 30 days after each vaccination. Serious AEs (SAEs) and potential immune-mediated diseases (pIMDs) were reported until study end (12 months post-second vaccination).

Results: Of 651 participants enrolled in the study, 638 received both doses of the HZ/su vaccine and 634 completed the study. Humoral immune responses were robust and consistency between 3 manufacturing lots was demonstrated. The incidence of solicited symptoms, unsolicited AEs and SAEs was comparable between all lots. Three fatal SAEs, 1 in each lot, were reported, none of which were considered vaccine-related by investigator assessment. Two out of the 8 reported pIMDs were considered vaccine-related by the investigator.

Conclusion: The three HZ/su manufacturing lots demonstrated consistent immunogenicity. No safety concerns were identified. Clinical trial registry number: NCT02075515 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.10.017DOI Listing
December 2017

A novel neutralizing human monoclonal antibody broadly abrogates hepatitis C virus infection in vitro and in vivo.

Antiviral Res 2017 Dec 23;148:53-64. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Department of Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:

Infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) represent a worldwide health burden and a prophylactic vaccine is still not available. Liver transplantation (LT) is often the only option for patients with HCV-induced end-stage liver disease. However, immediately after transplantation, the liver graft becomes infected by circulating virus, resulting in accelerated progression of liver disease. Although the efficacy of HCV treatment using direct-acting antivirals has improved significantly, immune compromised LT-patients and patients with advanced liver disease remain difficult to treat. As an alternative approach, interfering with viral entry could prevent infection of the donor liver. We generated a human monoclonal antibody (mAb), designated 2A5, which targets the HCV envelope. The neutralizing activity of mAb 2A5 was assessed using multiple prototype and patient-derived HCV pseudoparticles (HCVpp), cell culture produced HCV (HCVcc), and a human-liver chimeric mouse model. Neutralization levels observed for mAb 2A5 were generally high and mostly superior to those obtained with AP33, a well-characterized HCV-neutralizing monoclonal antibody. Using humanized mice, complete protection was observed after genotype 1a and 4a HCV challenge, while only partial protection was achieved using gt1b and 6a isolates. Epitope mapping revealed that mAb 2A5 binding is conformation-dependent and identified the E2-region spanning amino acids 434 to 446 (epitope II) as the predominant contact domain.

Conclusion: mAb 2A5 shows potent anti-HCV neutralizing activity both in vitro and in vivo and could hence represent a valuable candidate to prevent HCV recurrence in LT-patients. In addition, the detailed identification of the neutralizing epitope can be applied for the design of prophylactic HCV vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.10.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5785094PMC
December 2017

Immunogenicity and safety of an inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine co-administered with a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine versus separate administration, in adults ≥50years of age: Results from a phase III, randomized, non-inferiority trial.

Vaccine 2017 11 5;35(46):6321-6328. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

GSK, King of Prussia, PA, United States. Electronic address:

Introduction: We compared co-administration versus separate administration of an inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine (IIV4) with a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) in adults at high risk of complications of influenza and pneumococcal infection.

Methods: This phase III, placebo-controlled, observer-blind trial (NCT02218697) was conducted in France and Belgium during the 2014-2015 influenza season. Adults≥50years of age meeting their country's vaccination recommendations were randomized 1:1 to co-administration or separate administration. Immunogenicity was assessed by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers for IIV4 and 22F-inhibition ELISA for PPV23. Co-primary objectives were to demonstrate non-inferiority of co-administration versus separate administration in terms of geometric mean titer (GMT) ratio for each influenza strain in the IIV4 and geometric mean concentration (GMC) ratio for six pneumococcal serotypes (1, 3, 4, 7F, 14, 19A) in the PPV23 in the per-protocol cohort (N=334).

Results: The study met its co-primary objectives, with the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the GMT and GMC ratios (separate administration over co-administration) being ≤2.0 for all four antigens of the IIV4 and the six pre-selected serotypes of the PPV23, respectively. Immunogenicity of the IIV4 and PPV23 was similar regardless of administration schedule. In a post hoc analysis pooling participants ≥60years of age from the co-administration and separate administration groups, IIV4 immunogenicity was similar in higher risk adults with comorbidities (diabetes; respiratory, heart, kidney, liver, or neurological diseases; morbid obesity) versus those without. Both vaccines had an acceptable safety and reactogenicity profile; pain was the most common symptom, occurring more often with co-administration than separate administration.

Conclusion: The IIV4 and PPV23 can be co-administered without reducing antibody responses reflecting protection against influenza or pneumococcal disease. Co-administration of PPV23 at the annual influenza vaccination visit may improve uptake. Comorbidities had no impact on IIV4 immunogenicity, supporting its value in older adults with chronic medical conditions. Clinical Trial Registry Number: NCT02218697.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.09.012DOI Listing
November 2017

Safety, immunogenicity, and lot-to-lot consistency of a split-virion quadrivalent influenza vaccine in younger and older adults: A phase III randomized, double-blind clinical trial.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 03 27;14(3):596-608. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

a Sanofi Pasteur , Marcy l'Etoile , France.

Here, we report a randomized multicenter phase III trial assessing the lot-to-lot consistency of the 2014-2015 Northern Hemisphere quadrivalent split-virion inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV4; Sanofi Pasteur) and comparing its immunogenicity and safety with that of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3) in younger and older adults (EudraCT no. 2014-000785-21). Younger (18-60 y, n = 1114) and older (>60 y, n = 1111) adults were randomized 2:2:2:1:1 to receive a single dose of one of three lots of IIV4, the licensed IIV3 containing the B Yamagata lineage strain, or an investigational IIV3 containing the B Victoria lineage strain. Post-vaccination (day 21) hemagglutination inhibition antibody titers were equivalent for the three IIV4 lots. For the pooled IIV4s vs. IIV3, hemagglutination inhibition antibody titers were also non-inferior for the A strains, non-inferior for the B strain when present in the comparator IIV3, and superior for the B strain lineage when absent from the comparator IIV3. For all vaccine strains, seroprotection rates were ≥98% in younger adults and ≥90% in older adults. IIV4 also increased seroneutralizing antibody titers against all three vaccine strains of influenza. All vaccines were well tolerated, with no safety concerns identified. Solicited injection-site reactions were similar for IIV4 and IIV3 and mostly grade 1 and transient. This study showed that in younger and older adults, IIV4 had a similar safety profile as the licensed IIV3 and that including a second B strain lineage in IIV4 provided superior immunogenicity for the added B strain without affecting the immunogenicity of the three IIV3 strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2017.1384106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861783PMC
March 2018

Different Adjuvants Induce Common Innate Pathways That Are Associated with Enhanced Adaptive Responses against a Model Antigen in Humans.

Front Immunol 2017 14;8:943. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

GSK, Rixensart, Belgium.

To elucidate the role of innate responses in vaccine immunogenicity, we compared early responses to hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen (HBsAg) combined with different Adjuvant Systems (AS) in healthy HBV-naïve adults, and included these parameters in multi-parametric models of adaptive responses. A total of 291 participants aged 18-45 years were randomized 1:1:1:1:1 to receive HBsAg with AS01, AS01, AS03, AS04, or Alum/Al(OH) at days 0 and 30 (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00805389). Blood protein, cellular, and mRNA innate responses were assessed at early time-points and up to 7 days after vaccination, and used with reactogenicity symptoms in linear regression analyses evaluating their correlation with HBs-specific CD4 T-cell and antibody responses at day 44. All AS induced transient innate responses, including interleukin (IL)-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP), mostly peaking at 24 h post-vaccination and subsiding to baseline within 1-3 days. After the second but not the first injection, median interferon (IFN)-γ levels were increased in the AS01 group, and IFN-γ-inducible protein-10 levels and IFN-inducible genes upregulated in the AS01 and AS03 groups. No distinct marker or signature was specific to one particular AS. Innate profiles were comparable between AS01, AS01, and AS03 groups, and between AS04 and Alum groups. AS group rankings within adaptive and innate response levels and reactogenicity prevalence were similar (AS01 ≥ AS01 > AS03 > AS04 > Alum), suggesting an association between magnitudes of inflammatory and vaccine responses. Modeling revealed associations between adaptive responses and specific traits of the innate response post-dose 2 (activation of the IFN-signaling pathway, CRP and IL-6 responses). In conclusion, the ability of AS01 and AS03 to enhance adaptive responses to co-administered HBsAg is likely linked to their capacity to activate innate immunity, particularly the IFN-signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00943DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5557780PMC
August 2017

Long-Term Persistence of Cell-Mediated and Humoral Responses to A(H1N1)pdm09 Influenza Virus Vaccines and the Role of the AS03 Adjuvant System in Adults during Two Randomized Controlled Trials.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2017 Jun 5;24(6). Epub 2017 Jun 5.

Center for Vaccinology, Ghent University and University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

We investigated the role of AS03 (here AS03), an α-tocopherol oil-in-water emulsion-based adjuvant system, on the long-term persistence of humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza vaccines. In two studies, a total of 261 healthy adults (≤60 years old) were randomized to receive two doses of AS03-adjuvanted vaccine containing 3.75 μg of hemagglutinin (HA) or nonadjuvanted vaccine containing 15 μg of hemagglutinin (in study A) or 3.75 μg of hemagglutinin (in study B) 21 days apart. Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody, memory B-cell, and CD4/CD8 T-cell responses were characterized up to 1 year following dose 1. We also assessed the effects of age and seasonal influenza vaccination history. AS03-adjuvanted (3.75 μg HA) vaccine and nonadjuvanted vaccine at 15 μg but not at 3.75 μg HA elicited HI antibody responses persisting at levels that continued to meet European licensure criteria through month 12. At month 12, the geometric mean titer for AS03-adjuvanted vaccine was similar to that for nonadjuvanted (15-μg) vaccine in study A (1:86 and 1:88, respectively) and higher than that for nonadjuvanted (3.75-μg) vaccine in study B (1:77 and 1:35, respectively). A(H1N1)pdm09-specific CD4 T-cell and B-cell responses were stronger in AS03-adjuvanted groups and persisted only in these groups for 12 months at levels exceeding prevaccination frequencies. Advancing age and a seasonal vaccination history tended to reduce HI antibody and memory B-cell responses and, albeit less consistently, CD4 T-cell responses. Thus, AS03 seemed to enhance the persistence of humoral and cell-mediated responses to A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine, allowing for antigen sparing and mitigating potential negative effects of age and previous seasonal vaccination. (These studies have been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00968539 and NCT00989287.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00553-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5461372PMC
June 2017

Persistence of antibodies 20 y after vaccination with a combined hepatitis A and B vaccine.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2017 05 10;13(5):972-980. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

d GSK Vaccines , Wavre , Belgium.

Vaccination is the most effective and well-tolerated method of conferring long-term protection against hepatitis A and B viruses (HAV; HBV). Long-term studies are required to characterize the duration of protection and need for boosters. Following primary immunization of 150 and 157 healthy adults with 3-doses of combined hepatitis A/hepatitis B vaccine (HAB; Twinrix™, GSK Vaccines, Belgium) at 0-1-6 months in 2 separate studies, we measured vaccine-induced antibody persistence against HAV and HBV annually for 20 y (Study A: NCT01000324; Study B: NCT01037114). Subjects with circulating anti-HAV antibodies < 15 mIU/mL or with anti-hepatitis B surface antigen < 10 mIU/mL were offered an additional monovalent hepatitis A and/or B vaccine dose (Havrix™/Engerix™-B, GSK Vaccines, Belgium). Applying the immunogenicity results from these studies, mathematical modeling predicted long-term persistence. After 20 y, 18 and 25 subjects in studies A and B, respectively, comprised the long-term according-to-protocol cohort for immunogenicity; 100% and 96.0% retained anti-HAV antibodies ≥ 15 mIU/mL, respectively; 94.4% and 92.0% had anti-HBs antibodies ≥ 10 mIU/mL, respectively. Between Years 16-20, 4 subjects who received a challenge dose of monovalent hepatitis A vaccine (N = 2) or hepatitis B vaccine (N = 2), all mounted a strong anamnestic response suggestive of immune memory despite low antibody levels. Mathematical modeling predicts that 40 y after vaccination ≥ 97% vaccinees will maintain anti-HAV ≥ 15 mIU/mL and ≥ 50% vaccinees will retain anti-HBs ≥ 10 mIU/mL. Immunogenicity data confirm that primary immunization with 3-doses of HAB induces persisting anti-HAV and anti-HBs specific antibodies in most adults for up to 20 y; mathematical modeling predicts even longer-term protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2016.1274473DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5443376PMC
May 2017