As­traZeneca, Ox­ford re­searchers cham­pi­on a one-two punch against Covid-19 in first hu­man study

One of the lead­ing pro­grams for a new coro­n­avirus vac­cine was cham­pi­oned to­day as in­ves­ti­ga­tors from Ox­ford and As­traZeneca spelled out a dual hit with neu­tral­iz­ing an­ti­bod­ies as well as a surge in spe­cif­ic T cells tar­get­ed against the virus.

Ac­cord­ing to the study:

Hu­moral re­spons­es to SARS-CoV-2 spike pro­tein peaked by day 28 post­prime and cel­lu­lar re­spons­es were in­duced in all par­tic­i­pants by­day 14. Neu­tral­is­ing an­ti­bod­ies were in­duced in all par­tic­i­pants af­ter a sec­ond vac­cine dose. Af­ter two dos­es, po­tent cel­lu­lar and hu­moral im­muno­genic­i­ty was present in all par­tic­i­pants stud­ied.

Adri­an Hill

The re­sults large­ly con­firm what was al­ready pre­viewed: One dose was suf­fi­cient to elic­it some an­ti­body re­sponse in over 90% of peo­ple, and a sec­ond dose pushed it to 100%, at lev­els sim­i­lar to what’s ob­served in con­va­les­cent pa­tients. Spike-spe­cif­ic ef­fec­tors T cells were ob­served “as ear­ly as day 7, peak­ing at day 14 and main­tained up to day 56 as ex­pect­ed with ade­n­ovi­ral vec­tors.”

In a me­dia brief­ing, As­traZeneca bio­phar­ma R&D head Mene Pan­ga­los not­ed that the on­go­ing Phase III tri­als “will al­most cer­tain­ly be” test­ing two dos­es, as it would be the “safest ap­proach to mak­ing sure we hit ef­fi­ca­cy.” Low­er dos­es can then be worked out in the fu­ture.

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