Publications by authors named "Jeroen Tolboom"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Immunogenicity and efficacy of one and two doses of Ad26.COV2.S COVID vaccine in adult and aged NHP.

J Exp Med 2021 07;218(7)

Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Rijswijk, Netherlands.

Safe and effective coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines are urgently needed to control the ongoing pandemic. While single-dose vaccine regimens would provide multiple advantages, two doses may improve the magnitude and durability of immunity and protective efficacy. We assessed one- and two-dose regimens of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine candidate in adult and aged nonhuman primates (NHPs). A two-dose Ad26.COV2.S regimen induced higher peak binding and neutralizing antibody responses compared with a single dose. In one-dose regimens, neutralizing antibody responses were stable for at least 14 wk, providing an early indication of durability. Ad26.COV2.S induced humoral immunity and T helper cell (Th cell) 1-skewed cellular responses in aged NHPs that were comparable to those in adult animals. Aged Ad26.COV2.S-vaccinated animals challenged 3 mo after dose 1 with a SARS-CoV-2 spike G614 variant showed near complete lower and substantial upper respiratory tract protection for both regimens. Neutralization of variants of concern by NHP sera was reduced for B.1.351 lineages while maintained for the B.1.1.7 lineage independent of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20202756DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085771PMC
July 2021

Ad26.COV2.S protects Syrian hamsters against G614 spike variant SARS-CoV-2 and does not enhance respiratory disease.

NPJ Vaccines 2021 Mar 19;6(1):39. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

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

Previously we have shown that a single dose of recombinant adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vaccine expressing a prefusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen (Ad26.COV2.S) is immunogenic and provides protection in Syrian hamster and non-human primate SARS-CoV-2 infection models. Here, we investigated the immunogenicity, protective efficacy, and potential for vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease (VAERD) mediated by Ad26.COV2.S in a moderate disease Syrian hamster challenge model, using the currently most prevalent G614 spike SARS-CoV-2 variant. Vaccine doses of 1 × 10 and 1 × 10 VP elicited substantial neutralizing antibodies titers and completely protected over 80% of SARS-CoV-2 inoculated Syrian hamsters from lung infection and pneumonia but not upper respiratory tract infection. A second vaccine dose further increased neutralizing antibody titers that was associated with decreased infectious viral load in the upper respiratory tract after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Suboptimal non-protective immune responses elicited by low-dose A26.COV2.S vaccination did not exacerbate respiratory disease in SARS-CoV-2-inoculated Syrian hamsters with breakthrough infection. In addition, dosing down the vaccine allowed to establish that binding and neutralizing antibody titers correlate with lower respiratory tract protection probability. Overall, these preclinical data confirm efficacy of a one-dose vaccine regimen with Ad26.COV2.S in this G614 spike SARS-CoV-2 virus variant Syrian hamster model, show the added benefit of a second vaccine dose, and demonstrate that there are no signs of VAERD under conditions of suboptimal immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-021-00301-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7979827PMC
March 2021

Comparison of shortened mosaic HIV-1 vaccine schedules: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 trial (IPCAVD010/HPX1002) and a preclinical study in rhesus monkeys (NHP 17-22).

Lancet HIV 2020 06 17;7(6):e410-e421. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, Leiden, Netherlands.

Background: Current efficacy studies of a mosaic HIV-1 prophylactic vaccine require four vaccination visits over one year, which is a complex regimen that could prove challenging for vaccine delivery at the community level, both for recipients and clinics. In this study, we evaluated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of shorter, simpler regimens of trivalent Ad26.Mos.HIV expressing mosaic HIV-1 Env/Gag/Pol antigens combined with aluminium phosphate-adjuvanted clade C gp140 protein.

Methods: We did this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 trial (IPCAVD010/HPX1002) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, USA. We included healthy, HIV-uninfected participants (aged 18-50 years) who were considered at low risk for HIV infection and had not received any vaccines in the 14 days before study commencement. We randomly assigned participants via a computer-generated randomisation schedule and interactive web response system to one of three study groups (1:1:1) testing different regimens of trivalent Ad26.Mos.HIV (5 × 10 viral particles per 0·5 mL) combined with 250 μg adjuvanted clade C gp140 protein. They were then assigned to treatment or placebo subgroups (5:1) within each of the three main groups. Participants and investigators were masked to treatment allocation until the end of the follow-up period. Group 1 received Ad26.Mos.HIV alone at weeks 0 and 12 and Ad26.Mos.HIV plus adjuvanted gp140 at weeks 24 and 48. Group 2 received Ad26.Mos.HIV plus adjuvanted gp140 at weeks 0, 12, and 24. Group 3 received Ad26.Mos.HIV alone at week 0 and Ad26.Mos.HIV plus adjuvanted gp140 at weeks 8 and 24. Participants in the control group received 0·5 mL of 0·9% saline. All study interventions were administered intramuscularly. The primary endpoints were Env-specific binding antibody responses at weeks 28, 52, and 72 and safety and tolerability of the vaccine regimens for 28 days after the injection. 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. The IPCAVD010/HPX1002 trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02685020. We also did a parallel preclinical study in rhesus monkeys to test the protective efficacy of the shortened group 3 regimen.

Findings: Between March 7, 2016, and Aug 19, 2016, we randomly assigned 36 participants to receive at least one dose of study vaccine or placebo, ten to each vaccine group and two to the corresponding placebo group. 30 (83%) participants completed the full study, and six (17%) discontinued it prematurely because of loss to follow-up, withdrawal of consent, investigator decision, and an unrelated death from a motor vehicle accident. The two shortened regimens elicited comparable antibody titres against autologous clade C Env at peak immunity to the longer, 12-month regimen: geometric mean titre (GMT) 41 007 (95% CI 17 959-93 636) for group 2 and 49 243 (29 346-82 630) for group 3 at week 28 compared with 44 590 (19 345-102 781) for group 1 at week 52). Antibody responses remained increased (GMT >5000) in groups 2 and 3 at week 52 but were highest in group 1 at week 72. Antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, Env-specific IgG3, tier 1A neutralising activity, and broad cellular immune responses were detected in all groups. All vaccine regimens were well tolerated. Mild-to-moderate pain or tenderness at the injection site was the most commonly reported solicited local adverse event, reported by 28 vaccine recipients (93%) and two placebo recipients (33%). Grade 3 solicited systemic adverse events were reported by eight (27%) vaccine recipients and no placebo recipients; the most commonly reported grade 3 systemic symptoms were fatigue, myalgia, and chills. The shortened group 3 regimen induced comparable peak immune responses in 30 rhesus monkeys as in humans and resulted in an 83% (95% CI 38·7-95, p=0·004 log-rank test) reduction in per-exposure acquisition risk after six intrarectal challenges with SHIV-SF162P3 at week 54, more than 6 months after final vaccination.

Interpretation: Short, 6-month regimens of a mosaic HIV-1 prophylactic vaccine elicited robust HIV-specific immune responses that were similar to responses elicited by a longer, 12-month schedule. Preclinical data showed partial protective efficacy of one of the short vaccine regimens in rhesus monkeys. Further clinical studies are required to test the suitability of the shortened vaccine regimens in humans. Such shortened regimens would be valuable to increase vaccine delivery at the community level, particularly in resource-limited settings.

Funding: Ragon Institute (Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University; Cambridge, MA, USA) and Janssen Vaccines & Prevention (Leiden, Netherlands).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(20)30001-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297076PMC
June 2020

Restrained expansion of the recall germinal center response as biomarker of protection for influenza vaccination in mice.

PLoS One 2019 14;14(11):e0225063. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Correlates of protection (CoP) are invaluable for iterative vaccine design studies, especially in pursuit of complex vaccines such as a universal influenza vaccine (UFV) where a single antigen is optimized to elicit broad protection against many viral antigenic variants. Since broadly protective antibodies against influenza virus often exhibit mutational evidence of prolonged diversification, we studied germinal center (GC) kinetics in hemagglutinin (HA) immunized mice. Here we report that as early as 4 days after secondary immunization, the expansion of HA-specific GC B cells inversely correlated to protection against influenza virus challenge, induced by the antigen. In contrast, follicular T helper (TFH) cells did not expand differently after boost vaccination, suggestive of a B-cell intrinsic difference in activation and differentiation inferred by protective antigen properties. Importantly, differences in antigen dose only affected GC B-cell frequencies after primary immunization. The absence of accompanying differences in total anti-HA or epitope-specific antibody levels induced by vaccines of different efficacy suggests that the GC B-cell response upon revaccination represents an early and unique marker of protection that may significantly accelerate the pre-clinical phase of vaccine development.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225063PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6855462PMC
March 2020

Mini-HA Is Superior to Full Length Hemagglutinin Immunization in Inducing Stem-Specific Antibodies and Protection Against Group 1 Influenza Virus Challenges in Mice.

Front Immunol 2018 12;9:2350. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

Janssen Vaccines and Prevention, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, Leiden, Netherlands.

Seasonal influenza vaccines are updated almost annually to match the antigenic drift in influenza hemagglutinin (HA) surface glycoprotein. A new HA stem-based antigen, the so-called "mini-HA," was recently shown to induce cross-protective antibodies. However, cross-reactive antibodies targeting the HA stem can also be found in mice and humans after administration of seasonal vaccine. This has raised the question whether in similar conditions such a mini-HA would be able to show an increased breadth of protection over immunization with full length (FL) HA. We show in mice that in a direct comparison to H1 FL HA, using the same immunization regimen, dosing and adjuvant, a group 1 mini-HA has a higher protective efficacy against group 1 influenza virus challenges not homologous to the H1 FL HA. Although both antigens induce a similar breadth of HA subtype binding, mini-HA immunization induces significantly more HA stem-specific antibodies correlating with survival. In addition, both mini-HA and H1 FL HA immunization induce influenza neutralizing antibodies while mini-HA induces significantly higher levels of mFcγRIII activation, involved in Fc-mediated antibody effector functions. In agreement with previous findings, this confirms that more than one mechanism contributes to protection against influenza. Together our results further warrant the development of a universal influenza vaccine based on the HA stem region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02350DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6194913PMC
October 2019

Adenoviral vector type 26 encoding Zika virus (ZIKV) M-Env antigen induces humoral and cellular immune responses and protects mice and nonhuman primates against ZIKV challenge.

PLoS One 2018 24;13(8):e0202820. Epub 2018 Aug 24.

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

In 2015, there was a large outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Brazil. Despite its relatively mild impact on healthy adults, ZIKV infection during pregnancy has been associated with severe birth defects. Currently, there is no ZIKV vaccine available, but several vaccine candidates based on the ZIKV membrane (M) and envelope (Env) structural proteins showed promising results in preclinical and clinical studies. Here, the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a non-replicating adenoviral vector type 26 (Ad26) that encodes the ZIKV M-Env antigens (Ad26.ZIKV.M-Env) was evaluated in mice and non-human primates (NHP). Ad26.ZIKV.M-Env induced strong and durable cellular and humoral immune responses in preclinical models. Humoral responses were characterized by Env-binding and ZIKV neutralizing antibody responses while cellular responses were characterized by ZIKV reactive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Importantly, a single immunization with a very low dose of 4x107 vp of Ad26.ZIKV.M-Env protected mice from ZIKV challenge. In NHP, a single immunization with a typical human dose of 1x1011 vp of Ad26.ZIKV.M-Env also induced Env-binding and ZIKV neutralizing antibodies and Env and M specific cellular immune responses that associated with complete protection against viremia from ZIKV challenge as measured in plasma and other body fluids. Together these data provide the rationale to progress the Ad26.ZIKV.M-Env candidate vaccine to clinical testing.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0202820PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6108497PMC
February 2019

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

Mini-hemagglutinin vaccination induces cross-reactive antibodies in pre-exposed NHP that protect mice against lethal influenza challenge.

NPJ Vaccines 2018 3;3:25. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Janssen Vaccines and Prevention, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, Archimedesweg 4-6, 2333 CN Leiden, The Netherlands.

Seasonal vaccines are currently the most effective countermeasure against influenza. However, seasonal vaccines are only effective against strains closely related to the influenza strains contained in the vaccine. Recently a new hemagglutinin (HA) stem-based antigen, the so-called "mini-HA", has been shown to induce a cross-protective immune response in influenza-naive mice and non-human primates (NHP). However, prior exposure to influenza can have a profound effect on the immune response to subsequent influenza infection and the protective efficacy of vaccination. Here we show that mini-HA, compared to a trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV), elicits a broadened influenza-specific humoral immune response in NHP previously exposed to influenza. Serum transfer experiments showed that antibodies induced by both mini-HA and seasonal vaccine protected mice against lethal challenge with a H1N1 influenza strain heterologous to the H1 HA included in the TIV. However, antibodies elicited by mini-HA showed an additional benefit of protecting mice against lethal heterosubtypic H5N1 influenza challenge, associated with H5 HA-specific functional antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-018-0063-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6030213PMC
July 2018

Protection against H5N1 Influenza Virus Induced by Matrix-M Adjuvanted Seasonal Virosomal Vaccine in Mice Requires Both Antibodies and T Cells.

PLoS One 2015 22;10(12):e0145243. Epub 2015 Dec 22.

Janssen Prevention Center, Center of Excellence of Janssen Research & Development, Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson and Johnson, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: It remains important to develop the next generation of influenza vaccines that can provide protection against vaccine mismatched strains and to be prepared for potential pandemic outbreaks. To achieve this, the understanding of the immunological parameters that mediate such broad protection is crucial.

Method: In the current study we assessed the contribution of humoral and cellular immune responses to heterosubtypic protection against H5N1 induced by a Matrix-M (MM) adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine by serum transfer and T-cell depletion studies.

Results: We demonstrate that the heterosubtypic protection against H5N1 induced by MM adjuvanted vaccine is partially mediated by antibodies. The serum contained both H5N1 cross-reactive hemagglutinin (HA)- and neuraminidase (NA)-specific antibodies but with limited virus neutralizing and no hemagglutination inhibiting activity. The cross-reactive antibodies induced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in vitro, suggesting a role for the Fc part of the antibodies in protection against H5N1. Besides H5N1 specific antibody responses, cross-reactive HA- and NA-specific T-cell responses were induced by the adjuvanted vaccine. T-cell depletion experiments demonstrated that both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells contribute to protection.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that cross-protection against H5N1 induced by MM adjuvanted seasonal virosomal influenza vaccine requires both the humoral and cellular arm of the immune system.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0145243PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4687931PMC
June 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

Matrix-M™ adjuvation broadens protection induced by seasonal trivalent virosomal influenza vaccine.

Virol J 2015 Dec 8;12:210. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

Present Address: Sanofi, Global Biotherapeutics, Vitry-sur-Seine, France.

Background: Influenza virus infections are responsible for significant morbidity worldwide and therefore it remains a high priority to develop more broadly protective vaccines. Adjuvation of current seasonal influenza vaccines has the potential to achieve this goal.

Methods: To assess the immune potentiating properties of Matrix-M™, mice were immunized with virosomal trivalent seasonal vaccine adjuvated with Matrix-M™. Serum samples were isolated to determine the hemagglutination inhibiting (HAI) antibody titers against vaccine homologous and heterologous strains. Furthermore, we assess whether adjuvation with Matrix-M™ broadens the protective efficacy of the virosomal trivalent seasonal vaccine against vaccine homologous and heterologous influenza viruses.

Results: Matrix-M™ adjuvation enhanced HAI antibody titers and protection against vaccine homologous strains. Interestingly, Matrix-M™ adjuvation also resulted in HAI antibody titers against heterologous influenza B strains, but not against the tested influenza A strains. Even though the protection against heterologous influenza A was induced by the adjuvated vaccine, in the absence of HAI titers the protection was accompanied by severe clinical scores and body weight loss. In contrast, in the presence of heterologous HAI titers full protection against the heterologous influenza B strain without any disease symptoms was obtained.

Conclusion: The results of this study emphasize the promising potential of a Matrix-M™-adjuvated seasonal trivalent virosomal influenza vaccine. Adjuvation of trivalent virosomal vaccine does not only enhance homologous protection, but in addition induces protection against heterologous strains and thus provides overall more potent and broad protective immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-015-0435-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4672496PMC
December 2015

Matrix-M Adjuvated Seasonal Virosomal Influenza Vaccine Induces Partial Protection in Mice and Ferrets against Avian H5 and H7 Challenge.

PLoS One 2015 24;10(9):e0135723. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Janssen Prevention Center, Center of Excellence of Janssen Research & Development, Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson and Johnson, Leiden, The Netherlands.

There is a constant threat of zoonotic influenza viruses causing a pandemic outbreak in humans. It is virtually impossible to predict which virus strain will cause the next pandemic and it takes a considerable amount of time before a safe and effective vaccine will be available once a pandemic occurs. In addition, development of pandemic vaccines is hampered by the generally poor immunogenicity of avian influenza viruses in humans. An effective pre-pandemic vaccine is therefore required as a first line of defense. Broadening of the protective efficacy of current seasonal vaccines by adding an adjuvant may be a way to provide such first line of defense. Here we evaluate whether a seasonal trivalent virosomal vaccine (TVV) adjuvated with the saponin-based adjuvant Matrix-M (MM) can confer protection against avian influenza H5 and H7 virus strains in mice and ferrets. We demonstrate that mice were protected from death against challenges with H5N1 and H7N7, but that the protection was not complete as evidenced by severe clinical signs. In ferrets, protection against H7N9 was not observed. In contrast, reduced upper and lower respiratory tract viral loads and reduced lung pathology, was achieved in H5N1 challenged ferrets. Together these results suggest that, at least to some extent, Matrix-M adjuvated seasonal virosomal influenza vaccine can serve as an interim measure to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with a pandemic outbreak.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0135723PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4581625PMC
June 2016

A stable trimeric influenza hemagglutinin stem as a broadly protective immunogen.

Science 2015 Sep 24;349(6254):1301-6. Epub 2015 Aug 24.

Crucell Vaccine Institute, Janssen Center of Excellence for Immunoprophylaxis, Archimedesweg 4-6, 2301 CA Leiden, Netherlands.

The identification of human broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) targeting the hemagglutinin (HA) stem revitalized hopes of developing a universal influenza vaccine. Using a rational design and library approach, we engineered stable HA stem antigens ("mini-HAs") based on an H1 subtype sequence. Our most advanced candidate exhibits structural and bnAb binding properties comparable to those of full-length HA, completely protects mice in lethal heterologous and heterosubtypic challenge models, and reduces fever after sublethal challenge in cynomolgus monkeys. Antibodies elicited by this mini-HA in mice and nonhuman primates bound a wide range of HAs, competed with human bnAbs for HA stem binding, neutralized H5N1 viruses, and mediated antibody-dependent effector activity. These results represent a proof of concept for the design of HA stem mimics that elicit bnAbs against influenza A group 1 viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aac7263DOI Listing
September 2015

Protection against H5N1 by multiple immunizations with seasonal influenza vaccine in mice is correlated with H5 cross-reactive antibodies.

Vaccine 2015 Mar 7;33(14):1739-47. Epub 2015 Feb 7.

Crucell Vaccine Institute, Janssen Center of Excellence for Immunoprophylaxis, Crucell Holland B.V., Leiden, The Netherlands; Sanofi, Global Biotherapeutics, Vitry-sur-Seine, France.

Background: Current seasonal influenza vaccines are believed to confer protection against a narrow range of virus strains. However, their protective ability is commonly estimated based on an in vitro correlate of protection that only considers a subset of anti-influenza antibodies that are typically strain specific, i.e., hemagglutination inhibiting antibodies. Here, we evaluate the breadth of protection induced with a seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine (composition H1N1 A/California/07/09, H3N2 A/Victoria/210/08, B/Brisbane/60/08) against influenza challenge in mice.

Methods: Balb/c mice were immunized once, twice, or three times with seasonal influenza vaccine to assess protection against heterosubtypic H5N1 influenza challenge, or homologous H1N1 influenza virus as a control. Passive transfer of immune serum was used to determine the contribution of humoral immunity to protection.

Results: Multiple immunizations with seasonal influenza vaccine induced up to 80% protection against heterosubtypic H5N1 influenza challenge in mice without eliciting detectable H5N1 neutralizing antibodies. Comparable levels of protection were reached by passive transfer of immune serum, and protection was correlated with the titer of vaccine-induced, H5 cross-reactive, non-neutralizing antibodies that are at least in part directed against conserved HA epitopes.

Conclusions: Here, we demonstrate that seasonal vaccine has the ability to induce broad serum-mediated protection, and that the mechanism of this protection is different from the vaccine-induced homologous protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.01.070DOI Listing
March 2015

Long-term antibody persistence in children after vaccination with the pediatric formulation of an aluminum-free virosomal hepatitis A vaccine.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2015 Apr;34(4):e85-91

From the *Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; †Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; ‡GZA Campus Sint-Vincentius, Antwerp, Belgium; §Crucell Holland BV, Leiden, The Netherlands; and ¶Crucell Switzerland AG, Bern, Switzerland.

Background: The pediatric dose of the virosomal hepatitis A vaccine Epaxal, Epaxal Junior, is safe and immunogenic in children from 1 to 17 years of age. The present study investigated the long-term immunogenicity of Epaxal Junior. The standard doses of Epaxal and aluminum-adsorbed hepatitis A vaccine (Havrix Junior) were used as comparators.

Methods: A total of 271 children who had completed a 0/6-month immunization schedule (priming and booster dose) participated in this follow-up study. Anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibody levels were measured using a microparticle enzyme immunoassay (HAVAB 2.0 Quantitative; Abbott Diagnostics, Wiesbaden, Germany) starting at 18 months following the second dose, and then yearly until 66 months (ie, 5.5 years) after the second dose.

Results: All subjects tested at Month 66 still had protective anti-HAV antibodies (≥10 mIU/mL). Antibody titers were generally lower in subjects 1-7 years old than in subjects 8-17 years old and higher in females 11-17 years old than in males 11-17 years old. In addition, an age-dependent decay was observed, that is, antibody decreased more rapidly in younger than in older children.

Conclusions: Vaccination of children with two doses of Epaxal Junior confers a real-time protection of at least 5.5 years. This protection is estimated to last approximately 25 years. Younger children showed lower antibody titers and a faster antibody decline than older children. Additional follow-up studies are needed beyond 5.5 years to further assess the long-term immunogenicity of Epaxal Junior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000000616DOI Listing
April 2015

Transient humoral protection against H5N1 challenge after seasonal influenza vaccination of humans.

PLoS One 2014 30;9(7):e103550. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Crucell Vaccine Institute, Janssen Center of Excellence for Immunoprophylaxis, Crucell Holland BV, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Current influenza vaccines are believed to confer protection against a narrow range of virus strains. The identification of broadly influenza neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) has triggered efforts to develop vaccines providing 'universal' protection against influenza. Several bnAbs were isolated from humans recently vaccinated with conventional influenza vaccines, suggesting that such vaccines could, in principle, be broadly protective. Assessing the breadth-of-protection conferred to humans by influenza vaccines is hampered by the lack of in vitro correlates for broad protection. We designed and employed a novel human-to-mouse serum transfer and challenge model to analyze protective responses in serum samples from clinical trial subjects. One dose of seasonal vaccine induces humoral protection not only against vaccine-homologous H1N1 challenge, but also against H5N1 challenge. This heterosubtypic protection is neither detected, nor accurately predicted by in vitro immunogenicity assays. Moreover, heterosubtypic protection is transient and not boosted by repeated inoculations. Strategies to increase the breadth and duration of the protective response against influenza are required to obtain 'universal' protection against influenza by vaccination. In the absence of known correlates of protection for broadly protective vaccines, the human-to-mouse serum transfer and challenge model described here may aid the development of such vaccines.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103550PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4116209PMC
November 2015

The safety and immunogenicity of two hepatitis B vaccine formulations (thiomersal-free and thiomersal-containing) in healthy vietnamese infants: a phase III, prospective, single-blinded, randomized, controlled trial.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2015 Jan;34(1):79-83

From the *Hung Vuong Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; †Crucell Switzerland AG, Bern, Switzerland; and ‡Crucell Holland BV, CN Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: To evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the thiomersal-free (TF) and thiomersal-containing (TC) formulations of Hepavax-Gene in healthy Vietnamese neonates.

Methods: A single-blind, randomized, controlled study in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Healthy infants, born after a normal gestational period (37-42 weeks) to hepatitis B surface antigen-negative mothers, participated in the study. Subjects were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to receive either Hepavax-Gene TC or Hepavax-Gene TF using a standard 0-1-6-month administration schedule. Postvaccination blood samples were taken at months 1, 6 and 7. Parents/legal guardians recorded solicited local and systemic adverse events up to 4 weeks after each vaccination.

Results: Very high proportions of subjects were seroprotected. Seroprotection rates at 1, 6 and 7 months were all above 95% using a 10 IU/L cutoff, and were mostly above 90% using a 100 IU/L cutoff. Seroprotection rates between the 2 formulations were equivalent within a 5% margin for either cutoff titer both after 6 and 7 months. There were no significant differences in the number of adverse events reported between the 2 formulations. Safety results were in line with previous reports for Hepavax-Gene. Both formulations of Hepavax-Gene were well tolerated. There were no local adverse events reported in the TF group. No serious adverse events were reported during the study.

Conclusions: The thiomersal-free formulation of Hepavax-Gene was noninferior to the thiomersal-containing formulation of Hepavax-Gene in terms of immunogenicity. There was evidence that the thiomersal-free vaccine was associated with fewer local adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000000479DOI Listing
January 2015

Principal component analysis differentiates the receptor binding profiles of three antipsychotic drug candidates from current antipsychotic drugs.

J Med Chem 2007 Oct 19;50(21):5103-8. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Research Laboratories, C. J. van Houtenlaan 36, 1381 CP Weesp, The Netherlands.

The receptor binding affinities of the three drug candidates 1 (SLV310), 2 (SLV313), and 3 (SLV314) were positioned against the results from nine (a)typical antipsychotic drugs. The receptor binding data from sixteen monoaminergic receptors served as the input in a principal component analysis (PCA). The PCA outcome revealed a unique binding profile of 1, 2, and 3 as compared with the reference compounds 4-8 and 10-12. The weight gain inducing antipsychotics 6-8 clustered in the PCA by scoring strongly negative for factor 1. The hyperprolactinaemia related antipsychotics 4, 5, 10, and 12 clustered by their negative scores for factor 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm070516uDOI Listing
October 2007
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