Uvax-2129, a recombinant protein nanoparticle vaccine, as Uvax Bio’s answer to COVID-19, shows great promise against multiple variants of concern. Result of a research work funded by the National Institutes of Health and by Uvax Bio LLC published in Science Advances on October 20, 2021 by Jiang Zhu, Associate Professor of Scripps Research and Co-Founder of Uvax Bio reported that Uvax-2129 can generate a potent neutralizing antibody response to alpha, beta, gamma, and delta variants. Compared with the soluble spike, Uvax-2129 showed sixfold longer retention, fourfold greater presentation on follicular dendritic cell dendrites, and fivefold stronger germinal center reactions in lymph node follicles. The study suggests Uvax-2129 may engage the immune system much more robustly than other vaccine strategies.
Uvax-2129 is one of Uvax Bio’s pipeline of vaccine products that are produced using the patented single component self-assembling protein nanoparticle (1c-SApNP®) antigen design and manufacturing technology. The 1c-SApNP® technology licensed from Scripps Research is being studied for other candidate vaccine designs, including scale-up of production, for HIV, RSV, HCV, and Ebola virus. Uvax-2129 phase I clinical trial is scheduled for the first half of 2022, while company’s HIV-1 candidate vaccine is also scheduled for its phase I clinical trial in mid-2022.
In mouse studies, Prof. Zhu’s team found, Uvax-2129 elicits immune responses that powerfully neutralize the original Wuhan strain of COVID-19, and all the other major variants of concern including the fast-spreading delta variant with the same potency. They also examined the cellular roots of the immunity induced by Uvax-2129 and observed had much longer and stronger engagement with the immune cells that give rise to long-term immunity when compared with the approach using single-spike protein as vaccines from other technologies.
“Uvax Bio is working with CMO partners on GMP production and release of Uvax-2129 for its clinical phase I trial” commented Cheryl Keech, M.D., Ph.D., Acting Chief Medical Officer of Uvax Bio; “This published study suggests that this vaccine platform has the potential to be broadly immunogenic against SARS-CoV2 variants of concern and we look forward to initiating our phase 1 trial this next year to test Uvax-2129 in a booster setting.”