SARS-CoV-2 variants have posed significant challenges to the hopes of using ancestral strain-based vaccines to address the risk of breakthrough infection by variants. We designed and developed a bivalent vaccine based on SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Beta variants (named SCTV01C). SCTV01C antigens were stable at 25 oC for at least 6 months. In the presence of a squalene-based oil-in-water adjuvant SCT-VA02B, SCTV01C showed significant protection efficacy against antigen-matched Beta variant, with favorable safety profiles in rodents. Notably, SCTV01C exhibited cross-neutralization capacity against Omicron subvariants (BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.3, and BA.4/5) in mice, superior to a WT (D614G)-based vaccine, which reinforced our previously published findings that SCTV01C exhibited broad-spectrum neutralizing potencies against over a dozen pre-Omicron variants and the Omicron BA.1 variant. In summary, variant-based multivalent protein vaccine could be a platform approach to address the challenging issues of emerging variants, vaccine hesitancy and the needs of affordable and thermal stable vaccines.
Available online 20 September 2022
In Press, Journal Pre-proof