- Initiation of first clinical study of multivalent VBI-2901, designed to increase breadth of protection against COVID-19 and related coronaviruses
- Preclinical data support broadly reactive immunity of VBI-2901 against a panel of coronavirus variants in mice, which now also includes circulating BA.4 and BA.5
- The study is expected to enroll approximately 100 adults in Canada and is supported by the Government of Canada
- Interim data expected mid-year 2023, subject to speed of enrollment
VBI Vaccines Inc. (Nasdaq: VBIV) (VBI), a biopharmaceutical company driven by immunology in the pursuit of powerful prevention and treatment of disease, today announced the initiation of enrollment in the Phase 1 clinical study of VBI-2901, a multivalent enveloped virus-like particle (eVLP) coronavirus vaccine candidate expressing the full-length spike proteins from the SARS-CoV-1 (SARS), SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and MERS-CoV (MERS) viruses.
Jeff Baxter, VBI’s President and CEO commented, “We strive to contribute to the long-term solution in the fight against coronaviruses and remain committed to supporting our public health partners. As we work to develop a vaccine capable of providing broad protection against known, emerging, and as-yet-unknown COVID-19 and coronavirus strains, we believe this study initiation is a meaningful step toward that goal.”
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses by nature, making them prime targets for VBI’s flexible eVLP technology, which in a Phase 1a/1b study of two monovalent, variant-specific vaccine candidates generated human proof-of-concept data demonstrating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the eVLP platform against coronaviruses.
David Anderson, Ph.D., VBI’s Chief Scientific Officer added, “We are excited to kick-off the first human study of VBI-2901, a candidate that has consistently elicited a stronger response than our variant-specific candidates against a broad panel of coronavirus variants in mice. Our preclinical panels now include BA.4 and BA.5 as well as the ancestral strain, Delta, Beta, Lambda, Omicron, and pangolin and bat coronaviruses distantly related to circulating human strains. These data seen to date demonstrated that, generally, as the strains became more divergent from the ancestral strain, VBI-2901 elicited a greater increase in antibody responses compared to our other variant-specific COVID-19 vaccine candidates.”
The Phase 1 randomized, open-label study will enroll three cohorts of subjects, randomized 1:1:1, to compare either two intramuscular doses of VBI-2901 at a low- (5µg) or high- (10µg) dose level, or one dose of VBI-2901 at the high-dose level (10µg) in approximately 100 healthy adults age 18-64 who have previously received two or more immunizations with COVID-19 vaccines licensed by Health Canada. Each participant must have received their previous dose of a licensed COVID-19 vaccine at least six months prior to study enrollment.
This study is supported by funding from the Government of Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) through the Strategic Innovation Fund.
About VBI’s Coronavirus Vaccine Program: VBI-2900
VBI-2900 consists of three enveloped virus-like particle (eVLP) vaccine candidates: (1) VBI-2901, a multivalent coronavirus vaccine expressing the SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV spike proteins, (2) VBI-2902, a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine expressing a modified prefusion form of the SARS-CoV-2 ancestral spike protein, and (3) VBI-2905, a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine expressing a modified prefusion form of the spike protein from the Beta variant (also known as B.1.351).
The vaccine program has been developed through collaborations with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the Government of Canada, through their Strategic Innovation Fund.
About VBI Vaccines Inc.
VBI Vaccines Inc. (“VBI”) is a biopharmaceutical company driven by immunology in the pursuit of powerful prevention and treatment of disease. Through its innovative approach to virus-like particles (“VLPs”), including a proprietary enveloped VLP (“eVLP”) platform technology, VBI develops vaccine candidates that mimic the natural presentation of viruses, designed to elicit the innate power of the human immune system. VBI is committed to targeting and overcoming significant infectious diseases, including hepatitis B, coronaviruses, and cytomegalovirus (CMV), as well as aggressive cancers including glioblastoma (GBM). VBI is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with research operations in Ottawa, Canada, and a research and manufacturing site in Rehovot, Israel.
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