Rapid development of an inactivated vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2

06 May 2020
Gao Q, Bao L, Mao H, Wang L, Xu K, Yang M, Li Y, Zhu L, Wang N, Lv Z, Gao H, Ge X, Kan B, Hu Y, Liu J, Cai F, Jiang D, Yin Y, Qin C, Li J, Gong X, Lou X, Shi W, Wu D, Zhang H, Zhu L, Deng W, Li Y, Lu J, Li C, Wang X, Yin W, Zhang Y and Qin C


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in an unprecedented public health crisis. There are currently no SARS-CoV-2-specific treatments or vaccines available due to the novelty of the virus. Hence, rapid development of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are urgently needed. Here we developed a pilot-scale production of a purified inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus vaccine candidate (PiCoVacc), which induced SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies in mice, rats and non-human primates. These antibodies neutralized 10 representative SARS-CoV-2 strains, suggesting a possible broader neutralizing ability against SARS-CoV-2 strains. Three immunizations using two different doses (3 μg or 6 μg per dose) provided partial or complete protection in macaques against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, respectively, without observable antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. These data support clinical development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for humans.