MAY 04, 2022 6:00 AM PDT

Keynote Presentation: Toward Universal Coronavirus Vaccines: From Concept to Clinic

Presented at: Coronavirus Series
  • Kayvon Modjarrad, MD, PhD

    Director, Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Medical Officer, Civilian, Department of the Army, Associate Professor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University


The need for next-generation, broadly protective coronavirus vaccines is underscored by the accelerated pace at which human coronaviruses have been emerging, the evolution of the current pandemic and the long-term threat of a continual rise of novel coronavirus variants, strains and species. In an effort to take a forward-looking approach toward coronavirus vaccine development, we designed and developed an adjuvanted SARS-CoV-2 Spike ferritin nanoparticle (SpFN) vaccine that confers a wide breadth of protective immunity against multiple sarbecovirus lineages. We found that SpFN elicits potent, broadly neutralizing antibody responses against wild-type SARS-CoV-2, variants of concern as well as SARS-CoV-1 that exceed levels elicited by other major vaccines. The robust immunity elicited by this vaccine translates into rapid protection against virus challenge across multiple animal models. With its current evaluation in a first-in-human clinical trial nearing completion and plans for further development, SpFN’s may extend beyond sarbecoviruses to serve as a promising platform as a broadly protective coronavirus vaccine.

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe the basic design and nanoparticle approach of a vaccine that confers broadly protective immunity against sarbecoviruses.

2. Summarize the development pathway of an adjuvanted SARS-CoV-2 Spike ferritin nanoparticle vaccine through preclinical assessements and translation to clinical evaluation.

3. Introduce the key considerations for the clinical development for a broadly protective sarbecovirus and betacoronavirus vaccine in the context of a immunologically primed population. 

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