Synthetic Multiantigen MVA Vaccine COH04S1 Protects Against SARS-CoV-2 in Syrian Hamsters and Non-Human Primates

bioRxiv. 2021 Sep 15;2021.09.15.460487. doi: 10.1101/2021.09.15.460487. Preprint


Second-generation COVID-19 vaccines could contribute to establish protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants. We developed COH04S1, a synthetic multiantigen Modified Vaccinia Ankara-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that co-expresses spike and nucleocapsid antigens. Here, we report COH04S1 vaccine efficacy in animal models. We demonstrate that intramuscular or intranasal vaccination of Syrian hamsters with COH04S1 induces robust Th1-biased antigen-specific humoral immunity and cross-neutralizing antibodies (NAb) and protects against weight loss, lower respiratory tract infection, and lung injury following intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Moreover, we demonstrate that single-dose or two-dose vaccination of non-human primates with COH04S1 induces robust antigen-specific binding antibodies, NAb, and Th1-biased T cells, protects against both upper and lower respiratory tract infection following intranasal/intratracheal SARS-CoV-2 challenge, and triggers potent post-challenge anamnestic antiviral responses. These results demonstrate COH04S1-mediated vaccine protection in animal models through different vaccination routes and dose regimens, complementing ongoing investigation of this multiantigen SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in clinical trials.

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