Publications by authors named "Jerald Sadoff"

51 Publications

Safety and Efficacy of Single-Dose Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine against Covid-19.

N Engl J Med 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

From Janssen Vaccines and Prevention, Leiden, the Netherlands (J. Sadoff, G. Shukarev, G. Scheper, M.L.G., H.S., J.V.H., M.D.); South African Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa (G.G.); Janssen Research and Development, Beerse, Belgium (A.V., C.T., H.F., B.S., K.O., M.F.R., N.C., T.T., K.H., J.R.G., F.S.); Janssen Research and Development, Spring House, PA (V.C.); Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases-Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro (B.G.); the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham (P.A.G.); the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rockville (K.L.T., M.A.M.), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring (M.L.R.), and the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (K.M.N.) - all in Maryland; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Washington, DC (J.T.); the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston (D.H.B.); Janssen Research and Development, Raritan, NJ (J. Stoddard); and Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle (L.C.).

Background: The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine is a recombinant, replication-incompetent human adenovirus type 26 vector encoding full-length severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein in a prefusion-stabilized conformation.

Methods: In an international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned adult participants in a 1:1 ratio to receive a single dose of Ad26.COV2.S (5×10 viral particles) or placebo. The primary end points were vaccine efficacy against moderate to severe-critical coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) with an onset at least 14 days and at least 28 days after administration among participants in the per-protocol population who had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Safety was also assessed.

Results: The per-protocol population included 19,630 SARS-CoV-2-negative participants who received Ad26.COV2.S and 19,691 who received placebo. Ad26.COV2.S protected against moderate to severe-critical Covid-19 with onset at least 14 days after administration (116 cases in the vaccine group vs. 348 in the placebo group; efficacy, 66.9%; adjusted 95% confidence interval [CI], 59.0 to 73.4) and at least 28 days after administration (66 vs. 193 cases; efficacy, 66.1%; adjusted 95% CI, 55.0 to 74.8). Vaccine efficacy was higher against severe-critical Covid-19 (76.7% [adjusted 95% CI, 54.6 to 89.1] for onset at ≥14 days and 85.4% [adjusted 95% CI, 54.2 to 96.9] for onset at ≥28 days). Despite 86 of 91 cases (94.5%) in South Africa with sequenced virus having the 20H/501Y.V2 variant, vaccine efficacy was 52.0% and 64.0% against moderate to severe-critical Covid-19 with onset at least 14 days and at least 28 days after administration, respectively, and efficacy against severe-critical Covid-19 was 73.1% and 81.7%, respectively. Reactogenicity was higher with Ad26.COV2.S than with placebo but was generally mild to moderate and transient. The incidence of serious adverse events was balanced between the two groups. Three deaths occurred in the vaccine group (none were Covid-19-related), and 16 in the placebo group (5 were Covid-19-related).

Conclusions: A single dose of Ad26.COV2.S protected against symptomatic Covid-19 and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and was effective against severe-critical disease, including hospitalization and death. Safety appeared to be similar to that in other phase 3 trials of Covid-19 vaccines. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development and others; ENSEMBLE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04505722.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2101544DOI Listing
April 2021

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia after Ad26.COV2.S Vaccination - Response from the Manufacturer.

N Engl J Med 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Janssen Vaccines and Prevention, Leiden, the Netherlands

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2106075DOI Listing
April 2021

Immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine for COVID-19.

JAMA 2021 04;325(15):1535-1544

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Control of the global COVID-19 pandemic will require the development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines.

Objective: To evaluate the immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) in humans, including the kinetics, magnitude, and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immune responses.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Twenty-five participants were enrolled from July 29, 2020, to August 7, 2020, and the follow-up for this day 71 interim analysis was completed on October 3, 2020; follow-up to assess durability will continue for 2 years. This study was conducted at a single clinical site in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 clinical trial of Ad26.COV2.S.

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 1 or 2 intramuscular injections with 5 × 1010 viral particles or 1 × 1011 viral particles of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine or placebo administered on day 1 and day 57 (5 participants in each group).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Humoral immune responses included binding and neutralizing antibody responses at multiple time points following immunization. Cellular immune responses included immunospot-based and intracellular cytokine staining assays to measure T-cell responses.

Results: Twenty-five participants were randomized (median age, 42; age range, 22-52; 52% women, 44% male, 4% undifferentiated), and all completed the trial through the day 71 interim end point. Binding and neutralizing antibodies emerged rapidly by day 8 after initial immunization in 90% and 25% of vaccine recipients, respectively. By day 57, binding and neutralizing antibodies were detected in 100% of vaccine recipients after a single immunization. On day 71, the geometric mean titers of spike-specific binding antibodies were 2432 to 5729 and the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies were 242 to 449 in the vaccinated groups. A variety of antibody subclasses, Fc receptor binding properties, and antiviral functions were induced. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were induced.

Conclusion And Relevance: In this phase 1 study, a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S induced rapid binding and neutralization antibody responses as well as cellular immune responses. Two phase 3 clinical trials are currently underway to determine the efficacy of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04436276.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.3645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7953339PMC
April 2021

Interim Results of a Phase 1-2a Trial of Ad26.COV2.S Covid-19 Vaccine.

N Engl J Med 2021 05 13;384(19):1824-1835. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

From Janssen Vaccines and Prevention, Leiden, the Netherlands (J. Sadoff, M.L.G., G. Shukarev, A.M.G., J. Stoop, S.T., E.C., G. Scheper, J. Hendriks, M.D., J.V.H., H.S.); Janssen Research and Development, Beerse (D.H., C.T., F.S.), Janssen Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Merksem (W.V.D.), the Center for Vaccinology, Ghent University, Gent (I.L.-R.), SGS Life Sciences (P.-J.B.) and the Center for the Evaluation of Vaccination, University of Antwerp (P.V.D.), Antwerp, and the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven (J. de Hoon) - all in Belgium; Optimal Research, Melbourne, FL (M.K.); the Alliance for Multispecialty Research, Knoxville, TN (W.S.); the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston (K.E.S., D.H.B.); and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle (S.C.D.R., K.W.C., M.J.M.).

Background: Efficacious vaccines are urgently needed to contain the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A candidate vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, is a recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector encoding a full-length and stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Methods: In this multicenter, placebo-controlled, phase 1-2a trial, we randomly assigned healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 years (cohort 1) and those 65 years of age or older (cohort 3) to receive the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine at a dose of 5×10 viral particles (low dose) or 1×10 viral particles (high dose) per milliliter or placebo in a single-dose or two-dose schedule. Longer-term data comparing a single-dose regimen with a two-dose regimen are being collected in cohort 2; those results are not reported here. The primary end points were the safety and reactogenicity of each dose schedule.

Results: After the administration of the first vaccine dose in 805 participants in cohorts 1 and 3 and after the second dose in cohort 1, the most frequent solicited adverse events were fatigue, headache, myalgia, and injection-site pain. The most frequent systemic adverse event was fever. Systemic adverse events were less common in cohort 3 than in cohort 1 and in those who received the low vaccine dose than in those who received the high dose. Reactogenicity was lower after the second dose. Neutralizing-antibody titers against wild-type virus were detected in 90% or more of all participants on day 29 after the first vaccine dose (geometric mean titer [GMT], 212 to 354), regardless of vaccine dose or age group, and reached 96% by day 57 with a further increase in titers (GMT, 288 to 488) in cohort 1a. Titers remained stable until at least day 71. A second dose provided an increase in the titer by a factor of 2.6 to 2.9 (GMT, 827 to 1266). Spike-binding antibody responses were similar to neutralizing-antibody responses. On day 15, CD4+ T-cell responses were detected in 76 to 83% of the participants in cohort 1 and in 60 to 67% of those in cohort 3, with a clear skewing toward type 1 helper T cells. CD8+ T-cell responses were robust overall but lower in cohort 3.

Conclusions: The safety and immunogenicity profiles of Ad26.COV2.S support further development of this vaccine candidate. (Funded by Johnson & Johnson and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services; COV1001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04436276.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2034201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821985PMC
May 2021

Prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Healthy Adults by a Single Immunization of Ad26.RSV.preF in a Human Challenge Study.

J Infect Dis 2021 Jan 5. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a significant cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in children and older adults, but has no approved vaccine. This study assessed the potential of Ad26.RSV.preF to protect against RSV infection and disease in an RSV human challenge model.

Methods: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, healthy adults aged 18-50 years were randomized 1:1 to receive 1x1011 vp Ad26.RSV.preF or placebo intramuscularly. Twenty-eight days post-immunization, volunteers were challenged intranasally with RSV-A (Memphis 37b). Assesments included viral load (VL), RSV infections, clinical symptom score (CSS), safety and immunogenicity.

Results: Post-challenge, VL, RSV infections and disease severity were lower in Ad26.RSV.preF (n=27) versus placebo (n=26) recipients: median VL-AUC (area under the curve) qRT-PCR: 0.0 versus 236.0 (P=.012; predefined primary endpoint); median VL-AUC quantitative culture: 0.0 versus 109; RSV infections 11 (40.7%) versus 17 (65.4%); median RSV AUC-CSS 35 versus 167, respectively. From baseline to 28 days post-immunization, geometric mean fold-increases in RSV A2 neutralizing antibody titers of 5.8 and 0.9 were observed in Ad26.RSV.preF and placebo, respectively. Ad26.RSV.preF was well tolerated.

Conclusions: Ad26.RSV.preF demonstrated protection from RSV infection through immunization in a human challenge model, and therefore could potentially protect against natural RSV infection and disease.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT03334695.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab003DOI Listing
January 2021

Safety and Efficacy of CR6261 in an Influenza A H1N1 Healthy Human Challenge Model.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Nov 19. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

LID Clinical Studies Unit, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: It is imperative to identify new targets for improved vaccines and therapeutics against influenza and one such target is the relatively conserved stalk region of the influenza A hemagglutinin (HA) surface protein.

Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, Phase II placebo-controlled trial of a monoclonal antibody that targets the HA stalk (CR6261) in a H1N1pdm09 healthy volunteer human challenge model. A single 50mg/kg dose of CR6261 was infused 24 hours after challenge and the primary efficacy outcome was area under the curve of viral RNA detection over time.

Results: Ninety-one healthy volunteers were randomized and underwent influenza challenge; 49 received CR6261 and 42 placebo. CR6261 had no statistically significant effect on AUC (AUC 48.56 log (copies/mL) x days, IQR 202 vs. AUC 25.53 log (copies/mL) x days, IQR 155), P=0.315), and no clinically significant effect on influenza disease measures including number of symptoms, duration of symptoms, or FLU-PRO scores. Preexisting anti-NA antibody titers were most predictive of reduced influenza disease. CR6261 reached a mean peak serum concentration of 1x10 6 ng/ml 15 minutes after infusion, and a mean peak of 5.97x10 2 ng/ml in the nasal mucosa 2-3 days after infusion.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that a monoclonal anti-stalk approach to prevent or treat influenza infection may be limited in efficacy. Future approaches should consider including and evaluating anti-stalk antibodies as part of a multi-faceted strategy rather than as a standalone therapeutic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1725DOI Listing
November 2020

Safety and Immunogenicity of the Ad26.RSV.preF Investigational Vaccine Coadministered With an Influenza Vaccine in Older Adults.

J Infect Dis 2021 Feb;223(4):699-708

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza cause significant disease burden in older adults. Overlapping RSV and influenza seasonality presents the opportunity to coadminister vaccines for both infections. This study assessed coadministration of the investigational vaccine, Ad26.RSV.preF, an adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector encoding RSV F protein stabilized in its prefusion conformation (pre-F), with a seasonal influenza vaccine in older adults.

Methods: In this phase 2a, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 180 adults aged ≥60 years received Ad26.RSV.preF plus Fluarix on day 1 and placebo on day 29, or placebo plus Fluarix on day 1 and Ad26.RSV.preF on day 29 (control).

Results: The coadministration regimen had an acceptable tolerability profile. Reactogenicity was generally higher after Ad26.RSV.preF versus Fluarix, but symptoms were generally transient and mild or moderate. At 28 days after the first vaccination, the upper confidence intervals of the hemagglutination inhibition antibody geometric mean ratio (control/coadministration) for all influenza strains were <2, demonstrating noninferiority. Robust neutralizing and binding antibody responses to RSV A2 were observed in both groups.

Conclusions: Coadministration of Fluarix with Ad26.RSV.preF vaccine had an acceptable safety profile and showed no evidence of interference in immune response. The results are compatible with simultaneous seasonal vaccination with both vaccines.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT03339713.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa409DOI Listing
February 2021

Mapping functional humoral correlates of protection against malaria challenge following RTS,S/AS01 vaccination.

Sci Transl Med 2020 07;12(553)

GSK Vaccine, 1300 Wavre, Belgium.

Vaccine development has the potential to be accelerated by coupling tools such as systems immunology analyses and controlled human infection models to define the protective efficacy of prospective immunogens without expensive and slow phase 2b/3 vaccine studies. Among human challenge models, controlled human malaria infection trials have long been used to evaluate candidate vaccines, and RTS,S/AS01 is the most advanced malaria vaccine candidate, reproducibly demonstrating 40 to 80% protection in human challenge studies in malaria-naïve individuals. Although antibodies are critical for protection after RTS,S/AS01 vaccination, antibody concentrations are inconsistently associated with protection across studies, and the precise mechanism(s) by which vaccine-induced antibodies provide protection remains enigmatic. Using a comprehensive systems serological profiling platform, the humoral correlates of protection against malaria were identified and validated across multiple challenge studies. Rather than antibody concentration, qualitative functional humoral features robustly predicted protection from infection across vaccine regimens. Despite the functional diversity of vaccine-induced immune responses across additional RTS,S/AS01 vaccine studies, the same antibody features, antibody-mediated phagocytosis and engagement of Fc gamma receptor 3A (FCGR3A), were able to predict protection across two additional human challenge studies. Functional validation using monoclonal antibodies confirmed the protective role of Fc-mediated antibody functions in restricting parasite infection both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that these correlates may mechanistically contribute to parasite restriction and can be used to guide the rational design of an improved vaccine against malaria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abb4757DOI Listing
July 2020

The Ratiometric Transcript Signature MX2/GPR183 Is Consistently Associated With RTS,S-Mediated Protection Against Controlled Human Malaria Infection.

Front Immunol 2020 28;11:669. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Center for Infectious Disease Research, Seattle, WA, United States.

The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine provides partial protection against infection but determinants of protection and/or disease are unclear. Previously, anti-circumsporozoite protein (CSP) antibody titers and blood RNA signatures were associated with RTS,S/AS01 efficacy against controlled human malaria infection (CHMI). By analyzing host blood transcriptomes from five RTS,S vaccination CHMI studies, we demonstrate that the transcript ratio MX2/GPR183, measured 1 day after third immunization, discriminates protected from non-protected individuals. This ratiometric signature provides information that is complementary to anti-CSP titer levels for identifying RTS,S/AS01 immunized people who developed protective immunity and suggests a role for interferon and oxysterol signaling in the RTS,S mode of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00669DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7199517PMC
March 2021

Evaluation of a mosaic HIV-1 vaccine in a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1/2a clinical trial (APPROACH) and in rhesus monkeys (NHP 13-19).

Lancet 2018 07 6;392(10143):232-243. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, New York City, NY, USA.

Background: More than 1·8 million new cases of HIV-1 infection were diagnosed worldwide in 2016. No licensed prophylactic HIV-1 vaccine exists. A major limitation to date has been the lack of direct comparability between clinical trials and preclinical studies. We aimed to evaluate mosaic adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26)-based HIV-1 vaccine candidates in parallel studies in humans and rhesus monkeys to define the optimal vaccine regimen to advance into clinical efficacy trials.

Methods: We conducted a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1/2a trial (APPROACH). Participants were recruited from 12 clinics in east Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the USA. We included healthy, HIV-1-uninfected participants (aged 18-50 years) who were considered at low risk for HIV-1 infection. We randomly assigned participants to one of eight study groups, stratified by region. Participants and investigators were blinded to the treatment allocation throughout the study. We primed participants at weeks 0 and 12 with Ad26.Mos.HIV (5 × 10 viral particles per 0·5 mL) expressing mosaic HIV-1 envelope (Env)/Gag/Pol antigens and gave boosters at weeks 24 and 48 with Ad26.Mos.HIV or modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA; 10 plaque-forming units per 0·5 mL) vectors with or without high-dose (250 μg) or low-dose (50 μg) aluminium adjuvanted clade C Env gp140 protein. Those in the control group received 0·9% saline. All study interventions were administered intramuscularly. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability of the vaccine regimens and Env-specific binding antibody responses at week 28. Safety and immunogenicity were also assessed at week 52. All participants who received at least one vaccine dose or placebo were included in the safety analysis; immunogenicity was analysed using the per-protocol population. We also did a parallel study in rhesus monkeys (NHP 13-19) to assess the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of these vaccine regimens against a series of six repetitive, heterologous, intrarectal challenges with a rhesus peripheral blood mononuclear cell-derived challenge stock of simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV-SF162P3). The APPROACH trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02315703.

Findings: Between Feb 24, 2015, and Oct 16, 2015, we randomly assigned 393 participants to receive at least one dose of study vaccine or placebo in the APPROACH trial. All vaccine regimens demonstrated favourable safety and tolerability. The most commonly reported solicited local adverse event was mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site (varying from 69% to 88% between the different active groups vs 49% in the placebo group). Five (1%) of 393 participants reported at least one grade 3 adverse event considered related to the vaccines: abdominal pain and diarrhoea (in the same participant), increased aspartate aminotransferase, postural dizziness, back pain, and malaise. The mosaic Ad26/Ad26 plus high-dose gp140 boost vaccine was the most immunogenic in humans; it elicited Env-specific binding antibody responses (100%) and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis responses (80%) at week 52, and T-cell responses at week 50 (83%). We also randomly assigned 72 rhesus monkeys to receive one of five different vaccine regimens or placebo in the NHP 13-19 study. Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 boost induced similar magnitude, durability, and phenotype of immune responses in rhesus monkeys as compared with humans and afforded 67% protection against acquisition of SHIV-SF162P3 infection (two-sided Fisher's exact test p=0·007). Env-specific ELISA and enzyme-linked immunospot assay responses were the principal immune correlates of protection against SHIV challenge in monkeys.

Interpretation: The mosaic Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 HIV-1 vaccine induced comparable and robust immune responses in humans and rhesus monkeys, and it provided significant protection against repetitive heterologous SHIV challenges in rhesus monkeys. This vaccine concept is currently being evaluated in a phase 2b clinical efficacy study in sub-Saharan Africa (NCT03060629).

Funding: Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, National Institutes of Health, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, US Department of Defense, and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31364-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6192527PMC
July 2018

Systems analysis of protective immune responses to RTS,S malaria vaccination in humans.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 02 13;114(9):2425-2430. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329;

RTS,S is an advanced malaria vaccine candidate and confers significant protection against infection in humans. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms driving vaccine immunity. Here, we applied a systems biology approach to study immune responses in subjects receiving three consecutive immunizations with RTS,S (RRR), or in those receiving two immunizations of RTS,S/AS01 following a primary immunization with adenovirus 35 (Ad35) (ARR) vector expressing circumsporozoite protein. Subsequent controlled human malaria challenge (CHMI) of the vaccinees with -infected mosquitoes, 3 wk after the final immunization, resulted in ∼50% protection in both groups of vaccinees. Circumsporozoite protein (CSP)-specific antibody titers, prechallenge, were associated with protection in the RRR group. In contrast, ARR-induced lower antibody responses, and protection was associated with polyfunctional CD4 T-cell responses 2 wk after priming with Ad35. Molecular signatures of B and plasma cells detected in PBMCs were highly correlated with antibody titers prechallenge and protection in the RRR cohort. In contrast, early signatures of innate immunity and dendritic cell activation were highly associated with protection in the ARR cohort. For both vaccine regimens, natural killer (NK) cell signatures negatively correlated with and predicted protection. These results suggest that protective immunity against can be achieved via multiple mechanisms and highlight the utility of systems approaches in defining molecular correlates of protection to vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1621489114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5338562PMC
February 2017

Safety and Immunogenicity of Adenovirus 35 Tuberculosis Vaccine Candidate in Adults with Active or Previous Tuberculosis. A Randomized Trial.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2017 05;195(9):1171-1180

1 University of Cape Town Lung Institute, Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine.

Rationale: Administration of tuberculosis (TB) vaccines in participants with previous or current pulmonary TB may have the potential for causing harmful postvaccination immunologic (Koch-type) reactions.

Objectives: To assess the safety and immunogenicity of three dose levels of the AERAS-402 live, replication-deficient adenovirus 35-vectored TB candidate vaccine, containing three mycobacterial antigens, in individuals with current or previous pulmonary TB.

Methods: We performed a phase II randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded dose-escalation study in an HIV-negative adult South African cohort (n = 72) with active pulmonary TB (on treatment for 1-4 mo) or pulmonary TB treated at least 12 months before study entry and considered cured. Safety endpoints included clinical assessment, flow volume curves, diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide, pulse oximetry, chest radiograph, and high-resolution thoracic computerized tomography scans. Cytokine expression by CD4 and CD8 T cells, after stimulation with Ag85A, Ag85B, and TB10.4 peptide pools, was examined by intracellular cytokine staining.

Measurements And Main Results: No apparent temporal or dose-related changes in clinical status (specifically acute, Koch phenomenon-like reactions), lung function, or radiology attributable to vaccine were observed. Injection site reactions were mild or moderate. Hematuria (by dipstick only) occurred in 25 (41%) of 61 AERAS-402 recipients and 3 (27%) of 11 placebo recipients, although no gross hematuria was reported. AERAS-402 induced robust CD8 and moderate CD4 T-cell responses, mainly to Ag85B in both vaccine groups.

Conclusions: Administration of the AERAS-402 candidate TB vaccine to participants with current or previous pulmonary TB induced a robust immune response and is not associated with clinically significant pulmonary complications. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 02414828) and in the South African National Clinical Trials Register ( www.sanctr.gov.za DOH 27-0808-2060).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201603-0654OCDOI Listing
May 2017

Adenovirally-Induced Polyfunctional T Cells Do Not Necessarily Recognize the Infected Target: Lessons from a Phase I Trial of the AERAS-402 Vaccine.

Sci Rep 2016 11 2;6:36355. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA.

The development of a vaccine for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has been impeded by the absence of correlates of protective immunity. One correlate would be the ability of cells induced by vaccination to recognize the Mtb-infected cell. AERAS-402 is a replication-deficient serotype 35 adenovirus containing DNA expressing a fusion protein of Mtb antigens 85A, 85B and TB10.4. We undertook a phase I double-blind, randomized placebo controlled trial of vaccination with AERAS-402 following BCG. Analysis of the vaccine-induced immune response revealed strong antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cell responses. However, analysis of the vaccine-induced CD8 T cells revealed that in many instances these cells did not recognize the Mtb-infected cell. Our findings highlight the measurement of vaccine-induced, polyfunctional T cells may not reflect the extent or degree to which these cells are capable of identifying the Mtb-infected cell and correspondingly, the value of detailed experimental medicine studies early in vaccine development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep36355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5141283PMC
November 2016

Adenovirus type 35-vectored tuberculosis vaccine has an acceptable safety and tolerability profile in healthy, BCG-vaccinated, QuantiFERON(®)-TB Gold (+) Kenyan adults without evidence of tuberculosis.

Vaccine 2016 05 26;34(21):2430-2436. Epub 2016 Mar 26.

Aeras, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.

In a Phase 1 trial, we evaluated the safety of AERAS-402, an adenovirus 35-vectored TB vaccine candidate expressing 3 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) immunodominant antigens, in subjects with and without latent Mtb infection. HIV-negative, BCG-vaccinated Kenyan adults without evidence of tuberculosis, 10 QuantiFERON(®)-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-G)(-) and 10 QFT-G(+), were randomized 4:1 to receive AERAS-402 or placebo as two doses, on Days 0 and 56, with follow up to Day 182. There were no deaths, serious adverse events or withdrawals. For 1 AERAS-402 QFT-G(-) and 1 AERAS-402 QFT-G(+) subject, there were 3 self-limiting severe AEs of injection site pain: 1 after the first vaccination and 1 after each vaccination, respectively. Two additional severe AEs considered vaccine-related were reported after the first vaccination in AERAS-402 QFT-G(+) subjects: elevated blood creatine phosphokinase and neutropenia, the latter slowly improving but remaining abnormal until study end. AERAS-402 was not detected in urine or throat cultures for any subject. In intracellular cytokine staining studies, curtailed by technical issues, we saw modest CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to Mtb Ag85A/b peptide pools among both QFT-G(-) and (+) subjects, with trends in the CD4+ T cells suggestive of boosting after the second vaccine dose, slightly more so in QFT-G(+) subjects. CD4+ and CD8+ responses to Mtb antigen TB10.4 were minimal. Increases in Adenovirus 35 neutralizing antibodies from screening to end of study, seen in 50% of AERAS-402 recipients, were mostly minimal. This small study confirms acceptable safety and tolerability profiles for AERAS-402, in line with other Phase 1 studies of AERAS-402, now to include QFT-G(+) subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.03.069DOI Listing
May 2016

A Downward Trend of the Ratio of Influenza RNA Copy Number to Infectious Viral Titer in Hospitalized Influenza A-Infected Patients.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2015 Dec 3;2(4):ofv166. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

Janssen Diagnostics , Beerse , Belgium.

Background.  Efficacy endpoints in influenza clinical trials may include clinical symptoms and virological measurements, although virology cannot serve as the primary endpoint. We investigated the relationship between influenza A RNA copy number and quantity of infectious viruses in hospitalized influenza patients. Methods.  One hundred fifty influenza-infected, hospitalized patients were included in this prospective cohort study spanning the 2012-2013 influenza season. Daily nasopharyngeal samples were collected during hospitalization, and influenza A RNA copy number and infectious viral titer were monitored. Results.  The decay rate for 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) was 0.51 ± 0.14 log10 TCID50/mL per day, whereas the RNA copy number decreased at a rate of 0.41 ± 0.04 log10 copies/mL per day (n = 433). The log ratio of the RNA copy number to the infectious viral titer within patient changes significantly with -0.25 ± 0.09 units per day (P = .0069). For a 12-day observation period, the decay corresponds to a decline of this ratio of 3 log influenza RNA copies. Conclusions.  Influenza RNA copy number in nasal swabs is co-linear with culture, although the rate of decay of cell culture-based viral titers was faster than that observed with molecular methods. The study documented a clear decreasing log ratio of the RNA copy number to the infectious viral titer of the patients over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofv166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4680923PMC
December 2015

A Phase I, Open-Label Trial, Evaluating the Safety and Immunogenicity of Candidate Tuberculosis Vaccines AERAS-402 and MVA85A, Administered by Prime-Boost Regime in BCG-Vaccinated Healthy Adults.

PLoS One 2015 3;10(11):e0141687. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7DQ, United Kingdom.

Background: MVA85A and AERAS-402 are two clinically advanced viral vectored TB vaccine candidates expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens designed to boost BCG-induced immunity. Clinical trials with candidate malaria vaccines have demonstrated that adenoviral vector based priming immunisation, followed by MVA vector boost, induced high levels of immunity. We present the safety and immunogenicity results of the first clinical trial to evaluate this immunisation strategy in TB.

Methods: In this phase 1, open-label trial, 40 healthy previously BCG-vaccinated participants were enrolled into three treatment groups and vaccinated with 1 or 2 doses of AERAS-402 followed by MVA85A; or 3 doses of AERAS-402.

Results: Most related adverse events (AEs) were mild and there were no vaccine related serious AEs. Boosting AERAS-402 with MVA85A significantly increased Ag85A-specific T-cell responses from day of vaccination. Two priming doses of AERAS-402 followed by MVA85A boost, resulted in a significantly higher AUC post-peak Ag85A response compared to three doses of AERAS-402 and historical data with MVA85A vaccination alone. The frequency of CD8+ T-cells producing IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2 was highest in the group receiving two priming doses of AERAS-402 followed by MVA85A.

Conclusions: Vaccination with AERAS-402 followed by MVA85A was safe and increased the durability of antigen specific T-cell responses and the frequency and polyfunctionality of CD8+ T-cells, which may be important in protection against TB. Further clinical trials with adenoviral prime-MVA85A boost regimens are merited to optimise vaccination intervals, dose and route of immunisation and to evaluate this strategy in the target population in TB high burden countries.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01683773.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0141687PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4631471PMC
June 2016

Immunogenicity without Efficacy of an Adenoviral Tuberculosis Vaccine in a Stringent Mouse Model for Immunotherapy during Treatment.

PLoS One 2015 21;10(5):e0127907. Epub 2015 May 21.

Center for Tuberculosis Research, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.

To investigate if bacterial persistence during TB drug treatment could be overcome by modulation of host immunity, we adapted a clinically-relevant model developed for the evaluation of new drugs and examined if immunotherapy with two adenoviral vaccines, Ad35-TBS (AERAS-402) and Ad26-TBS, could shorten therapy in mice. Even though immunotherapy resulted in strong splenic IFN-γ responses, no effect on bacterial replication in the lungs was seen. Multiplex assay analysis of lung samples revealed the absence of cytokine augmentation such as IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2, suggesting that immunization failed to induce immunity in the lungs. In this model, we show that IFN-γ levels were not associated with protection against disease relapse. The results obtained from our study raise questions regarding the traits of protective TB immunity that are relevant for the development of future immunotherapeutic and post-exposure vaccination strategies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127907PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440646PMC
March 2016

A nonhuman primate toxicology and immunogenicity study evaluating aerosol delivery of AERAS-402/Ad35 vaccine: Evidence for transient t cell responses in peripheral blood and robust sustained responses in the lungs.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2014 ;10(8):2199-210

a Aeras; Rockville, MD USA.

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), the only licensed vaccine for the prevention of tuberculosis (TB), provides only limited protection against certain forms of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. While infection with Mtb can be treated with antibiotics, the therapy is expensive, toxic, and requires several months for treatment. In addition, the emergence of drug resistant strains limits the impact of antibiotics and underlines the importance of developing a more effective vaccine to control this disease. Given that pulmonary TB is the most common form of the disease, a vaccine capable of inducing lung-resident immunity may be advantageous for combating this infection. New advances in pulmonary delivery make this route of vaccination feasible and affordable. Here, we evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of an aerosolized Ad35-based vaccine, AERAS-402, delivered to the lungs in nonhuman primates as part of a GLP acute and chronic toxicology and safety study. In this study, animals received three high doses (1 x 10(11) vp) of AERAS-402 by inhalation via a nebulizer at 1-week intervals. Aerosol delivery of AERAS-402 resulted in an increase in relative lung weights as well as microscopic findings in the lungs, mediastinal lymph nodes, bronchus-associated lymphatic tissue, and the naso-oropharynx that were consistent with the induction of an immune response during the acute phase. These findings resolved by the chronic phase and were considered to be non-adverse. Furthermore, we observed transient vaccine-specific immune responses in the peripheral blood as well as sustained high-level polyfunctional CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of vaccinated nonhuman primates. The data suggest that pulmonary delivery of Ad35-based vaccines can be safe and can induce potent lung-resident immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/hv.29108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896762PMC
July 2015

The novel tuberculosis vaccine, AERAS-402, is safe in healthy infants previously vaccinated with BCG, and induces dose-dependent CD4 and CD8T cell responses.

Vaccine 2014 Oct 10;32(45):5908-17. Epub 2014 Sep 10.

South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI), Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Efforts to reduce risk of tuberculosis disease in children include development of effective vaccines. Our aim was to test safety and immunogenicity of the new adenovirus 35-vectored tuberculosis vaccine candidate AERAS-402 in infants, administered as a boost following a prime with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine.

Methods: In a phase 1 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation trial, BCG-vaccinated infants aged 6-9 months were sequentially assigned to four study groups, then randomized to receive an increasing dose-strength of AERAS-402, or placebo. The highest dose group received a second dose of vaccine or placebo 56 days after the first. The primary study outcome was safety. Whole blood intracellular cytokine staining assessed immunogenicity.

Results: Forty-two infants received AERAS-402 and 15 infants received placebo. During follow-up of 182 days, an acceptable safety profile was shown with no serious adverse events or discontinuations related to the vaccine. AERAS-402 induced a specific T cell response. A single dose of AERAS-402 induced CD4T cells predominantly expressing single IFN-γ whereas two doses induced CD4T cells predominantly expressing IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2 together. CD8T cells were induced and were more likely to be present after 2 doses of AERAS-402.

Conclusions: AERAS-402 was safe and immunogenic in healthy infants previously vaccinated with BCG at birth. Administration of the highest dose twice may be the most optimal vaccination strategy, based on the induced immunity. Multiple differences in T cell responses when infants are compared with adults vaccinated with AERAS-402, in the same setting and using the same whole blood intracellular cytokine assay, suggest specific strategies may be important for vaccination for each population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.09.001DOI Listing
October 2014

Aerosol vaccination with AERAS-402 elicits robust cellular immune responses in the lungs of rhesus macaques but fails to protect against high-dose Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge.

J Immunol 2014 Aug 14;193(4):1799-811. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892;

Development of a vaccine against pulmonary tuberculosis may require immunization strategies that induce a high frequency of Ag-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells in the lung. The nonhuman primate model is essential for testing such approaches because it has predictive value for how vaccines elicit responses in humans. In this study, we used an aerosol vaccination strategy to administer AERAS-402, a replication-defective recombinant adenovirus (rAd) type 35 expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ags Ag85A, Ag85B, and TB10.4, in bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-primed or unprimed rhesus macaques. Immunization with BCG generated low purified protein derivative-specific CD4 T cell responses in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage. In contrast, aerosolized AERAS-402 alone or following BCG induced potent and stable Ag85A/b-specific CD4 and CD8 effector T cells in bronchoalveolar lavage that largely produced IFN-γ, as well as TNF and IL-2. Such responses induced by BCG, AERAS-402, or both failed to confer overall protection following challenge with 275 CFUs M. tuberculosis Erdman, although vaccine-induced responses associated with reduced pathology were observed in some animals. Anamnestic T cell responses to Ag85A/b were not detected in blood of immunized animals after challenge. Overall, our data suggest that a high M. tuberculosis challenge dose may be a critical factor in limiting vaccine efficacy in this model. However, the ability of aerosol rAd immunization to generate potent cellular immunity in the lung suggests that using different or more immunogens, alternative rAd serotypes with enhanced immunogenicity, and a physiological challenge dose may achieve protection against M. tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1400676DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4119487PMC
August 2014

Systematic evaluation of in vitro and in vivo adventitious virus assays for the detection of viral contamination of cell banks and biological products.

Vaccine 2014 May 25;32(24):2916-26. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

NIH/NIAID Division of AIDS, 6700B Rockledge Dr., Rm. 5145, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States. Electronic address:

Viral vaccines and the cell substrates used to manufacture them are subjected to tests for adventitious agents, including viruses, contaminate. Some of the compendial methods (in vivo and in vitro in cell culture) were established in the mid-20th century. These methods have not been subjected to current assay validation, as new methods would need to be. This study was undertaken to provide insight into the breadth (selectivity) and sensitivity (limit of detection) of the routine methods, two such validation parameters. Sixteen viral stocks were prepared and characterized. These stocks were tested in serial dilutions by the routine methods to establish which viruses were detected by which methods and above what limit of detection. Sixteen out of sixteen viruses were detected in vitro, though one (bovine viral diarrhea virus) required special conditions to detect and another (rubella virus) was detected with low sensitivity. Many were detected at levels below 1 TCID50 or PFU (titers were established on the production cell line in most cases). In contrast, in vivo, only 6/11 viruses were detected, and 4 of these were detected only at amounts one or more logs above 1 TCID50 or PFU. Only influenza virus and vesicular stomatitis virus were detected at lower amounts in vivo than in vitro. Given the call to reduce, refine, or replace (3Rs) the use of animals in product safety testing and the emergence of new technologies for the detection of viruses, a re-examination of the current adventitious virus testing strategies seems warranted. Suggested pathways forward are offered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.02.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4526145PMC
May 2014

A phase 1b randomized, controlled, double-blinded dosage-escalation trial to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of an adenovirus type 35 based circumsporozoite malaria vaccine in Burkinabe healthy adults 18 to 45 years of age.

PLoS One 2013 11;8(11):e78679. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Background: Ad35.CS.01 is a pre-erythrocytic malaria candidate vaccine. It is a codon optimized nucleotide sequence representing the P. falciparum circumsporozoite (CS) surface antigen inserted in a replication deficient Adenovirus 35 backbone. A Phase 1a trial has been conducted in the USA in naïve adults and showed that the vaccine was safe. The aim of this study is to assess the safety and immunogenicity of ascending dosages in sub Saharan Africa.

Methods: A double blind, randomized, controlled, dose escalation, phase Ib trial was conducted in a rural area of Balonghin, the Saponé health district (Burkina Faso). Forty-eight healthy adults aged 18-45 years were randomized into 4 cohorts of 12 to receive three vaccine doses (day 0, 28 and 84) of 10(9), 10(10), 5X10(10), 10(11) vp of Ad35.CS.01 or normal saline by intra muscular injection. Subjects were monitored carefully during the 14 days following each vaccination for non serious adverse events. Severe and serious adverse events were collected throughout the participant study duration (12 months from the first vaccination). Humoral and cellular immune responses were measured on study days 0, 28, 56, 84, 112 and 140.

Results: Of the forty-eight subjects enrolled, forty-four (91.7%) received all three scheduled vaccine doses. Local reactions, all of mild severity, occurred in thirteen (27.1%) subjects. Severe (grade 3) laboratory abnormalities occurred in five (10.4%) subjects. One serious adverse event was reported and attributed to infection judged unrelated to vaccine. The vaccine induced both antibody titers and CD8 T cells producing IFNγ and TNFα with specificity to CS while eliciting modest neutralizing antibody responses against Ad35.

Conclusion: Study vaccine Ad35.CS.01 at four different dose levels was well-tolerated and modestly immunogenic in this population. These results suggest that Ad35.CS.01 should be further investigated for preliminary efficacy in human challenge models and as part of heterologous prime-boost vaccination strategies.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01018459 http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01018459.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078679PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3823848PMC
July 2014

Induction and regulation of T-cell immunity by the novel tuberculosis vaccine M72/AS01 in South African adults.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2013 08;188(4):492-502

South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative and School of Child and Adolescent Health, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Rationale: Tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, thus there is an urgent need for novel TB vaccines.

Objectives: We investigated a novel TB vaccine candidate, M72/AS01, in a phase IIa trial of bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated, HIV-uninfected, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-infected and -uninfected adults in South Africa.

Methods: Two doses of M72/AS01 were administered to healthy adults, with and without latent Mtb infection. Participants were monitored for 7 months after the first dose; cytokine production profiles, cell cycling, and regulatory phenotypes of vaccine-induced T cells were measured by flow cytometry.

Measurements And Main Results: The vaccine had a clinically acceptable safety profile, and induced robust, long-lived M72-specific T-cell and antibody responses. M72-specific CD4 T cells produced multiple combinations of Th1 cytokines. Analysis of T-cell Ki67 expression showed that most vaccination-induced T cells did not express Th1 cytokines or IL-17; these cytokine-negative Ki67(+) T cells included subsets of CD4 T cells with regulatory phenotypes. PD-1, a negative regulator of activated T cells, was transiently expressed on M72-specific CD4 T cells after vaccination. Specific T-cell subsets were present at significantly higher frequencies after vaccination of Mtb-infected versus -uninfected participants.

Conclusions: M72/AS01 is clinically well tolerated in Mtb-infected and -uninfected adults, induces high frequencies of multifunctional T cells, and boosts distinct T-cell responses primed by natural Mtb infection. Moreover, these results provide important novel insights into how this immunity may be appropriately regulated after novel TB vaccination of Mtb-infected and -uninfected individuals.

Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00600782).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201208-1385OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3778736PMC
August 2013

A recombinant adenovirus expressing immunodominant TB antigens can significantly enhance BCG-induced human immunity.

Vaccine 2012 Mar 30;30(12):2098-108. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology, Departments of Internal Medicine & Molecular Microbiology, Saint Louis University Medical Center & Center for Vaccine Development, Saint Louis, MO 63104, USA.

Background: Despite the availability of Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG) vaccines, Mycobacterium tuberculosis currently infects billions of people and millions die annually from tuberculosis (TB) disease. New TB vaccines are urgently needed.

Methods: We studied the ability of AERAS-402, a recombinant, replication-deficient adenovirus type 35 expressing the protective M. tuberculosis antigens Ag85A, Ag85B, and TB10.4, to boost BCG immunity in an area of low TB endemicity.

Results: In volunteers primed with BCG 3 or 6 months prior to AERAS-402 boosting, significant CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses were induced. Ag85-specific responses were more strongly boosted than TB10.4-specific responses. Frequencies of TB-specific CD8(+) T cells reached>50 fold higher than pre-AERAS boosting levels, remarkably higher than reported in any previous human TB vaccine trial. Multiparameter flow cytometric assays demonstrated that AERAS-402-boosted CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were multifunctional, producing multiple cytokines and other immune effector molecules. Furthermore, boosted T cells displayed lymphoproliferative capacity, and tetramer analyses confirmed that antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells were induced. BCG and AERAS-402 vaccinations given 3 and 6 months apart appeared equivalent.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that AERAS-402 is a promising TB vaccine candidate that can significantly enhance both CD4(+) and CD8(+) TB-specific T cell responses after BCG priming. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01378312.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.048DOI Listing
March 2012

Vaccine protection against acquisition of neutralization-resistant SIV challenges in rhesus monkeys.

Nature 2012 Jan 4;482(7383):89-93. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Division of Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.

Preclinical studies of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine candidates have typically shown post-infection virological control, but protection against acquisition of infection has previously only been reported against neutralization-sensitive virus challenges. Here we demonstrate vaccine protection against acquisition of fully heterologous, neutralization-resistant simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) challenges in rhesus monkeys. Adenovirus/poxvirus and adenovirus/adenovirus-vector-based vaccines expressing SIV(SME543) Gag, Pol and Env antigens resulted in an 80% or greater reduction in the per-exposure probability of infection against repetitive, intrarectal SIV(MAC251) challenges in rhesus monkeys. Protection against acquisition of infection showed distinct immunological correlates compared with post-infection virological control and required the inclusion of Env in the vaccine regimen. These data demonstrate the proof-of-concept that optimized HIV-1 vaccine candidates can block acquisition of stringent, heterologous, neutralization-resistant virus challenges in rhesus monkeys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature10766DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271177PMC
January 2012

Optimizing HIV-1-specific CD8+ T-cell induction by recombinant BCG in prime-boost regimens with heterologous viral vectors.

Eur J Immunol 2011 Dec 26;41(12):3542-52. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

MRC Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The desire to induce HIV-1-specific responses soon after birth to prevent breast milk transmission of HIV-1 led us to propose a vaccine regimen which primes HIV-1-specific T cells using a recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (rBCG) vaccine. Because attenuated live bacterial vaccines are typically not sufficiently immunogenic as stand-alone vaccines, rBCG-primed T cells will likely require boost immunization(s). Here, we compared modified Danish (AERAS-401) and Pasteur lysine auxotroph (222) strains of BCG expressing the immunogen HIVA for their potency to prime HIV-1-specific responses in adult BALB/c mice and examined four heterologous boosting HIVA vaccines for their immunogenic synergy. We found that both BCG.HIVA(401) and BCG.HIVA(222) primed HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T-cell-mediated responses. The strongest boosts were delivered by human adenovirus-vectored HAdV5.HIVA and sheep atadenovirus-vectored OAdV7.HIVA vaccines, followed by poxvirus MVA.HIVA; the weakest was plasmid pTH.HIVA DNA. The prime-boost regimens induced T cells capable of efficient in vivo killing of sensitized target cells. We also observed that the BCG.HIVA(401) and BCG.HIVA(222) vaccines have broadly similar immunologic properties, but display a number of differences mainly detected through distinct profiles of soluble intercellular signaling molecules produced by immune splenocytes in response to both HIV-1- and BCG-specific stimuli. These results encourage further development of the rBCG prime-boost regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201141962DOI Listing
December 2011

Genetic immunization in the lung induces potent local and systemic immune responses.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 Dec 6;107(51):22213-8. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Successful vaccination against respiratory infections requires elicitation of high levels of potent and durable humoral and cellular responses in the lower airways. To accomplish this goal, we used a fine aerosol that targets the entire lung surface through normal respiration to deliver replication-incompetent recombinant adenoviral vectors expressing gene products from several infectious pathogens. We show that this regimen induced remarkably high and stable lung T-cell responses in nonhuman primates and that it also generated systemic and respiratory tract humoral responses of both IgA and IgG isotypes. Moreover, strong immunogenicity was achieved even in animals with preexisting antiadenoviral immunity, overcoming a critical hurdle to the use of these vectors in humans, who commonly are immune to adenoviruses. The immunogenicity profile elicited with this regimen, which is distinct from either intramuscular or intranasal delivery, has highly desirable properties for protection against respiratory pathogens. We show that it can be used repeatedly to generate mucosal humoral, CD4, and CD8 T-cell responses and as such may be applicable to other mucosally transmitted pathogens such as HIV. Indeed, in a lethal challenge model, we show that aerosolized recombinant adenoviral immunization completely protects ferrets against H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. Thus, genetic immunization in the lung offers a powerful platform approach to generating protective immune responses against respiratory pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1015536108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3009829PMC
December 2010

Safety and immunogenicity of novel recombinant BCG and modified vaccinia virus Ankara vaccines in neonate rhesus macaques.

J Virol 2010 Aug 19;84(15):7815-21. Epub 2010 May 19.

MRC Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, The John Radcliffe, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Although major inroads into making antiretroviral therapy available in resource-poor countries have been made, there is an urgent need for an effective vaccine administered shortly after birth, which would protect infants from acquiring human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through breast-feeding. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is given to most infants at birth, and its recombinant form could be used to prime HIV-1-specific responses for a later boost by heterologous vectors delivering the same HIV-1-derived immunogen. Here, two groups of neonate Indian rhesus macaques were immunized with either novel candidate vaccine BCG.HIVA(401) or its parental strain AERAS-401, followed by two doses of recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara MVA.HIVA. The HIVA immunogen is derived from African clade A HIV-1. All vaccines were safe, giving local reactions consistent with the expected response at the injection site. No systemic adverse events or gross abnormality was seen at necropsy. Both AERAS-401 and BCG.HIVA(401) induced high frequencies of BCG-specific IFN-gamma-secreting lymphocytes that declined over 23 weeks, but the latter failed to induce detectable HIV-1-specific IFN-gamma responses. MVA.HIVA elicited HIV-1-specific IFN-gamma responses in all eight animals, but, except for one animal, these responses were weak. The HIV-1-specific responses induced in infants were lower compared to historic data generated by the two HIVA vaccines in adult animals but similar to other recombinant poxviruses tested in this model. This is the first time these vaccines were tested in newborn monkeys. These results inform further infant vaccine development and provide comparative data for two human infant vaccine trials of MVA.HIVA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00726-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897629PMC
August 2010

Stabilizing formulations for inhalable powders of an adenovirus 35-vectored tuberculosis (TB) vaccine (AERAS-402).

Vaccine 2010 Jun 2;28(27):4369-75. Epub 2010 May 2.

Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.

A powder vaccine intended for aerosol delivery was formulated by spray drying the Ad35-vectored tuberculosis (TB) AERAS-402 vaccine with mannitol-based stabilizers. Thermodynamic properties, water absorption, particle size distribution and morphology of the powders were evaluated. Virus survival during spray drying and storage was determined by medium Tissue Culture Infectious Dose (TCID(50)). A mannitol-based powder (mannitol-cyclodextrin-trehalose-dextran, MCTD) had a narrow size distribution with a median volume diameter around 3.2-3.5microm (suitable for pulmonary vaccination of humans) and good aerosolization characteristics. The spray dry powders generated from mannitol-based formulations were hydrophobic, which benefits virus survival during both production and storage at 4 degrees C, 25 degrees C and 37 degrees C as compared to the hygroscopic formulations (trehalose, sucrose, dextran, PVP, leucine). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that it is possible to produce in a one-step spray drying process a stable dry powder formulation of a TB vaccine suitable for mass vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.04.059DOI Listing
June 2010

Update on research and development pipeline: tuberculosis vaccines.

Clin Infect Dis 2010 May;50 Suppl 3:S178-83

Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.

Current tuberculosis (TB)-control methods, which do not include an adequate vaccine, do not effectively block transmission of TB. Modeling studies show that mass vaccination campaigns using new vaccines could prevent 85.9 million new cases and 14.5 million deaths from 2015 through 2050 in southern Asia alone. After a dearth of many years, the development pipeline now includes 7 vaccine candidates that are being tested in humans. Two nonreplicating viral vectored vaccines have very recently entered the first phase IIb efficacy trial in infants (the first such trial in 80 years) and in human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults. Science is moving forward, but the scientific advancements need to be accompanied by political mobilization to ensure that the resources are available to develop, manufacture, and distribute the new vaccines and, thus, save millions of lives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/651489DOI Listing
May 2010