Published on Tue Dec 22 2020

Safety and immunogenicity clinical trial of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, BBV152 (a phase 2, double-blind, randomised controlled trial) and the persistence of immune responses from a phase 1 follow-up report

Ella, R., Reddy, S., Jogdand, H., Sarangi, V., Ganneru, B., Prasad, S., Das, D., Raju, D., Praturi, U., Sapkal, G., Yadav, P., Reddy, P., Verma, S., Singh, C., Redkar, S. V., Gillurkar, C. S., Kushwaha, J. S., Mohapatra, S., Rai, S. K., Bhate, A., Panda, S., Abraham, P., Gupta, N., Ella, K., Bhargava, B., Vadrevu, K. M.

BBV152 is a whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. It is formulated with a Toll-like receptor 7/8 agonist molecule adsorbed to alum (Algel-IMDG) We conducted a double-blind, randomised, multicentre, phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of BBV152. After two doses, the proportion (95% CI) of solicited local and systemic adverse reactions were 9.7% and 10.3%, respectively.

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Abstract

BackgroundBBV152 is a whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (3 {micro}g or 6 {micro}g) formulated with a Toll-like receptor 7/8 agonist molecule adsorbed to alum (Algel-IMDG). Earlier, we reported findings from a phase 1 (vaccination regimen on days 0 and 14) randomised, double-blind trial on the safety and immunogenicity of three different formulations of BBV152 and one control arm containing Algel (without antigen). Two formulations were selected for the phase 2 (days 0 and 28) study. Here, we report interim findings of a controlled, randomised, double-blind trial on the immunogenicity and safety of BBV152: 3 {micro}g and 6 {micro}g with Algel-IMDG. MethodsWe conducted a double-blind, randomised, multicentre, phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of BBV152. A total of 380 healthy children and adults were randomised to receive two vaccine formulations (n=190 each) with 3 {micro}g with Algel-IMDG and 6 {micro}g with Algel-IMDG. Two intramuscular doses of vaccines were administered (four weeks apart). Participants, investigators, and laboratory staff were blinded to the treatment allocation. The primary outcome was seroconversion ([≥]4-fold above baseline) based on wild-type virus neutralisation (PRNT50). Secondary outcomes were reactogenicity and safety. Cell-mediated responses were evaluated. A follow-up blood draw was collected from phase 1 participants at day 104 (three months after the second dose). FindingsAmong 921 participants screened between Sep 7-13, 2020, 380 participants were randomised to the safety and immunogenicity population. The PRNT50 seroconversion rates of neutralising antibodies on day 56 were 92{middle dot}9% (88{middle dot}2, 96{middle dot}2) and 98{middle dot}3% (95{middle dot}1, 99{middle dot}6) in the 3 {micro}g and 6 {micro}g with Algel-IMDG groups, respectively. Higher neutralising titres (2-fold) were observed in the phase 2 study than in the phase 1 study (p<0.05). Both vaccine groups elicited more Th1 cytokines than Th2 cytokines. After two doses, the proportion (95% CI) of solicited local and systemic adverse reactions were 9.7% (6{middle dot}9, 13{middle dot}2) and 10.3% (7{middle dot}4, 13{middle dot}8) in the 3 {micro}g and 6 {micro}g with Algel-IMDG groups, respectively. No significant difference was observed between the groups. No serious adverse events were reported in this study. Phase 1 follow-up immunological samples at day 104 showed seroconversion in 73{middle dot}5% (63{middle dot}6, 81{middle dot}9), 81{middle dot}1% (71{middle dot}4, 88{middle dot}1), and 73{middle dot}1% (62{middle dot}9, 81{middle dot}8) of individuals in the 3 {micro}g with Algel-IMDG, 6 {micro}g with Algel-IMDG, and 6 {micro}g with Algel groups, respectively. InterpretationIn the phase 1 trial, BBV152 produced high levels of neutralising antibodies that remained elevated in all participants three months after the second vaccination. In the phase 2 trial, BBV152 led to tolerable safety outcomes and enhanced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. The safety profile of BBV152 is noticeably lower than the rates for other SARS-CoV-2 vaccine platform candidates. The 6 {micro}g Algel-IMDG formulation was selected for the phase 3 efficacy trial. FundingThis work was supported and funded by Bharat Biotech International Limited. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT04471519