Rapid development and deployment of vaccines is crucial to control the continuously evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The placebo-controlled phase 3 efficacy trial is still the standard for authorizing vaccines in the majority of the world. However, due to a lack of eligible participants in parts of the world, this has not always been feasible. Recently, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration, following the consensus of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA), adopted the use of immunobridging studies as acceptable for authorizing COVID-19 vaccines in lieu of efficacy data. Here, we describe a study in which our candidate vaccine, MVC-COV1901, an adjuvanted protein subunit vaccine, has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in Taiwan based on a noninferiority immunobridging study. Immunogenicity results from the per protocol immunogenicity (PPI) subset (n = 903) from the MVC-COV1901 phase 2 trial were compared with results from 200 subjects who had received an adenovirus vector vaccine, AstraZeneca ChAdOx nCOV-19 (AZD1222), in a separate study. The lower bound of the 95% confidence interval (CI) of the geometric mean titer (GMT) ratio comparing MVC-COV1901 to AZD1222 was 3.4. The lower bound of the 95% CI of the sero-response rate was 95.5%. Both the GMT ratio and sero-response rate exceeded the criteria established by the Taiwan regulatory authority, leading to EUA approval of MVC-COV1901 in Taiwan.
Keywords: ChAdOx nCOV-19; MVC-COV1901; immunobridging; neutralizing antibodies.