Safety and efficacy of the intranasal spray SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dNS1-RBD: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial.
The phase 3 trial of a live-attenuated influenza virus vector-based intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (dNS1-RBD) did not meet the predefined efficacy criterion of more than 30%, however it demonstrated a favourable safety profile and showed some protection against the omicron variant. The most common adverse reactions were rhinorrhoea and headache with no serious adverse events or deaths related to vaccination. The trial was conducted across four countries and included participants who had not been previously infected or vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2, or who had received other SARS-CoV-2 vaccines 6 months or more before enrollment.
- The dNS1-RBD intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine demonstrated a favourable safety profile with no serious adverse events or deaths related to vaccination.
- While the vaccine did not meet the predefined efficacy criterion of more than 30%, it provided some protection against the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
- The trial was conducted in a diverse population across four countries, including individuals without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination, and those who had been vaccinated with other SARS-CoV-2 vaccines more than 6 months prior to enrollment.
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Fengcai Zhu, Shoujie Huang, Xiaohui Liu, Qi Chen, Chunlan Zhuang, Hui Zhao, Jinle Han, Anjuli May Jaen, Thai Hung Do, Jonathan Grant Peter, Alexander Gonzalez Dorado, Louie S Tirador, Gelza Mae A Zabat, Ralph Elvi M Villalobos, Gemalyn Pineda Gueco, Lauren Livia Greta Botha, Shirley Patricia Iglesias Pertuz, Jiaxiang Tan, Kongxin Zhu, Jiali Quan, Hongyan Lin, Yue Huang, Jizong Jia, Xiafei Chu, Junyu Chen, Yixin Chen, Tianying Zhang, Yingying Su, Changgui Li, Xiangzhong Ye, Ting Wu, Jun Zhang, Ningshao Xia,
- BACKGROUND: The live-attenuated influenza virus vector-based intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (dNS1-RBD, Pneucolin; Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, Beijing, China) confers long-lasting and broad protection in animal models and is, to our knowledge, the first COVID-19 mucosal vaccine to enter into human trials, but its efficacy is still unknown. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy (but not the immunogenicity) of dNS1-RBD against COVID-19.
- METHODS: We did a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, adaptive design, phase 3 trial at 33 centres (private or public hospitals, clinical research centres, or Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) in four countries (Colombia, Philippines, South Africa, and Viet Nam). Men and non-pregnant women (aged ≥18 years) were eligible if they had never been infected with SARS-CoV-2, and if they did not have a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination history at screening or if they had received at least one dose of other SARS-CoV-2 vaccines 6 months or longer before enrolment. Eligible adults were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive two intranasal doses of dNS1-RBD or placebo administered 14 days apart (0·2 mL per dose; 0·1 mL per nasal cavity), with block randomisation via an interactive web-response system, stratified by centre, age group (18-59 years or ≥60 years), and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination history. All participants, investigators, and laboratory staff were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcomes were safety of dNS1-RBD in the safety population (ie, those who had received at least one dose of dNS1-RBD or placebo) and efficacy against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by RT-PCR occurring 15 days or longer after the second dose in the per-protocol population (ie, those who received two doses, were followed up for 15 days or longer after the second dose, and had no major protocol deviations). The success criterion was predefined as vaccine efficacy of more than 30%. This trial is registered with the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR2100051391) and is completed.
- FINDINGS: Between Dec 16, 2021, and May 31, 2022, 41 620 participants were screened for eligibility and 31 038 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned (15 517 in the vaccine group and 15 521 in the placebo group). 30 990 participants who received at least one dose (15 496 vaccine and 15 494 placebo) were included in the safety analysis. The results showed a favourable safety profile, with the most common local adverse reaction being rhinorrhoea (578 [3·7%] of 15 500 vaccine recipients and 546 [3·5%] of 15 490 placebo recipients) and the most common systemic reaction being headache (829 [5·3%] vaccine recipients and 797 [5·1%] placebo recipients). We found no differences in the incidences of adverse reactions between participants in the vaccine and placebo groups. No vaccination-related serious adverse events or deaths were observed. Among 30 290 participants who received two doses, 25 742 were included in the per-protocol efficacy analysis (12 840 vaccine and 12 902 placebo). The incidence of confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection caused by omicron variants regardless of immunisation history was 1·6% in the vaccine group and 2·3% in the placebo group, resulting in an overall vaccine efficacy of 28·2% (95% CI 3·4-46·6), with a median follow-up duration of 161 days.
- INTERPRETATION: Although this trial did not meet the predefined efficacy criteria for success, dNS1-RBD was well tolerated and protective against omicron variants, both as a primary immunisation and as a heterologous booster.
- FUNDING: Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, National Science and Technology Major Project, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Fujian Provincial Science and Technology Plan Project, Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province, Xiamen Science and Technology Plan Special Project, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ministry of Education of China, Xiamen University, and Fieldwork Funds of Xiamen University.
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