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Primates inoculated with CV2CoV show improved immune response and protection from various COVID variants.
CureVac and GSK announced that their second-generation mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine, CV2CoV, had demonstrated improved immune response and protection in a preclinical study.
The study assessed cynomolgus macaques immunized with 12µg of either their first-generation vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, or the second-generation vaccine candidate. Adaptive immune responses were assessed through receptor binding domain specific antibodies and neutralizing antibodies as well as memory B and T cells.
The study found that the group given the second-generation vaccine candidate had a faster response onset, higher titers of antibodies, and stronger memory B and T cell activation relative to the other group. Additionally, there was a higher antibody neutralizing capacity across all selected variants (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Kappa, and Lambda).
CureVac and GSK announced their collaboration in February 2021, which focuses on the development of new products based on CureVac’s second-generation mRNA technology. A Phase I clinical trial is expected to start in Q4 2021.
“In this animal model, CV2CoV is shown to induce broad antibody and cellular immune responses very similar to the breadth of the immune responses observed after infection with SARS-CoV-2,” said Igor Splawski, chief scientific officer of CureVac in a company press release. “The current study shows that the immune responses and resulting protection produced by our second-generation candidate, based on our mRNA technology featuring targeted optimizations, are substantially improved in non-human primates against both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as the Beta and Delta Variants of Concern and the Lambda Variant of Interest.”