S-Trimer, a COVID-19 subunit vaccine candidate, induces protective immunity in nonhuman primates
Joshua G. Liang,
Posted 24 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.24.311027
Posted 24 Sep 2020
SARS-CoV-2 is the underlying cause for the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most enveloped RNA viruses, SARS-CoV-2 uses a homotrimeric surface antigen to gain entry into host cells. Here we describe S-Trimer, a native-like trimeric subunit vaccine candidate for COVID-19 based on Trimer-Tag technology. Immunization of S-Trimer with either AS03 (oil-in-water emulsion) or CpG 1018 (TLR9 agonist) plus alum adjuvants induced high-levels of neutralizing antibodies and Th1-biased cellular immune responses in animal models. Moreover, rhesus macaques immunized with adjuvanted S-Trimer were protected from SARS-CoV-2 challenge compared to vehicle controls, based on clinical observations and reduction of viral loads in lungs. Trimer-Tag may be an important new platform technology for scalable production and rapid development of safe and effective subunit vaccines against current and future emerging RNA viruses. ### Competing Interest Statement J.G.L. and P.L. have ownership interest in Clover Biopharmaceuticals. All other authors have no competing interests.
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