THURSDAY, April 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Interim results of early research show that a new vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), CoVac-1, induces T-cell immune responses in 93 percent of patients with B-cell deficiencies, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 8 to 13 in New Orleans.

Claudia Tandler, from University Hospital Tübingen in Germany, and colleagues presented the interim safety and immunogenicity results of a phase I/II trial evaluating CoVac-1, which aims for induction of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells, in patients with congenital or acquired B-cell deficiency (mainly patients with leukemia and lymphoma). Sixty-four percent of the study participants had not developed any humoral immune response after previously receiving approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

The researchers found that CoVac-1 showed a good safety and tolerability profile, with no relevant systemic adverse events, similar to that seen in healthy adults. On day 28 after CoVac-1 application, 93 percent of study participants had CoVac-1-specific T-cell responses; the earliest responses were evidenced at day 14 (71 percent). Multifunctional T-helper 1 CD4+ T cells mediated vaccine-induced T-cell responses. In this population, CoVac-1 induced T cell responses that were similar to those seen in healthy volunteers after natural infection or induced by approved vaccines.

“CoVac-1 is designed to induce broad and long-lasting SARS-CoV-2 T-cell immunity, even in individuals who have impaired ability to mount sufficient immunity from a currently approved vaccine, and thus protect these high-risk patients from a severe course of COVID-19,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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