Warning: This is a preliminary report that has not been peer-reviewed. It should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.

Development of a COVID-19 vaccine based on the receptor binding domain displayed on virus-like particles (Preliminary Report)

The recently ermerging disease COVID-19 is caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 virus first detected in the city of Wuhan, China. From there it has been rapidly spreading inside and outside China. With initial death rates around 4%, COVID-19 patients at longer distances from Wuhan showed reduced mortality as was previously ...
observed for the SARS coronavirus. However, the new coronavirus spreads more strongly, as it sheds long before onset of symptoms or may be transmitted by people without symptoms. Rapid development of a protective vaccine against COVID-19 is therefore of paramount importance. Here we demonstrate that recombinantly expressed receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein homologous to SARS binds to ACE2, the viral receptor. Higly repetitive display of RBD on immunologically optimized virus-like particles derived from cucumber mosaic virus resulted in a vaccine candidate (RBD-CuMVTT) that induced high levels of specific antibodies in mice which were able to block binding of spike protein to ACE2 and potently neutralized the SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro.
Date: May. 06, 2020
Status: Preliminary Report
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