Type III hypersensitivity reactions to a B cell epitope antigen are abrogated using a depot forming vaccine platform.
ABSTRACT: Peptide antigens are combined with an adjuvant in order to increase immunogenicity in vivo. The immunogenicity and safety of a RSV vaccine formulated in a novel oil-based platform, DepoVax™ (DPX), was compared to an alum formulation. A peptide B cell epitope derived from RSV small hydrophobic ectodomain (SHe) served as the antigen. Both vaccines induced SHe-specific antibodies after immunization of mice. A single dose of the DPX-based formulation resulted in anti-SHe titres for up to 20 weeks. Boosting with Alum-SHe, but not with DPX-SHe, led to unexpected clinical signs such as decreased activity, cyanosis and drop in body temperature in mice but not in rabbits. The severity of adverse reactions correlated with magnitude of SHe-specific IgG immune responses and decreased complement component 3 plasma levels, indicating a type III hypersensitivity reaction. By RP-HPLC analysis, we found that only 8-20% of the antigen was found to be adsorbed to alum in vitro, indicating that this antigen is likely released systemically upon injection in vivo. Clinical signs were not observed in rabbits, indicating the response correlates with peptide dose relative to size of animal. These results suggest that peptide antigens targeted to produce B cell mediated response may result in increased incidence of type III hypersensitivity reactions when delivered in non-depot forming vaccines. The DPX formulation induced strong antibody titres to the antigen without causing adverse events, likely due to the strength of the depot in vivo, and demonstrates the potential safety and immunogenicity of this platform for B cell peptide antigens.
Project description:Background:Respiratory syncytial virus infection can cause lower respiratory tract infection in older adults comparable to influenza, but no vaccines are available. Methods:This was a randomized, observer-blinded, first-in-humans study of a novel synthetic RSV antigen based on the ectodomain of the small hydrophobic glycoprotein (SHe) of RSV subgroup A, formulated with either the lipid and oil-based vaccine platform DepoVax (DPX-RSV[A]) or alum (RSV[A]-Alum), in healthy, 50-64-year-old individuals. Two dose levels (10 or 25 µg) of SHe with each formulation were compared to placebo. A booster dose was administered on day 56. Results:There was no indication that the vaccine was unsafe. Mild pain, drowsiness, and muscles aches were the most common solicited adverse events (AEs), and the frequencies of the AEs did not increase after dose 2. Robust anti-SHe-specific immune responses were demonstrated in the DPX-RSV(A) 10-?g and 25-?g groups (geometric mean titer, approximately 10-fold and 100-fold greater than that of placebo at days 56 and 236, respectively), and responses were sustained in the DPX-RSV(A) 25-?g group at day 421. Responses to the RSV(A)-Alum vaccines were very low. Conclusions:A novel antigen from the SH protein of RSV, formulated in a lipid and oil-based vaccine platform, was highly immunogenic, with sustained antigen-specific antibody responses, and had an acceptable safety profile.
Project description:DepoVax is a novel non-emulsion depot-forming vaccine platform with the capacity to significantly enhance the immunogenicity of peptide cancer antigens. Naturally processed HLA-A2 restricted peptides presented by breast, ovarian and prostate cancer cells were used as antigens to create a therapeutic cancer vaccine, DPX-0907.A phase I clinical study was designed to examine the safety and immune activating potential of DPX-0907 in advanced stage breast, ovarian and prostate cancer patients. A total of 23 late stage cancer patients were recruited and were divided into two dose/volume cohorts in a three immunization protocol.DPX-0907 was shown to be safe with injection site reactions being the most commonly reported adverse event. All breast cancer patients (3/3), most of ovarian (5/6) and one third of prostate (3/9) cancer patients exhibited detectable immune responses, resulting in a 61% immunological response rate. Immune responses were generally observed in patients with better disease control after their last prior treatment. Antigen-specific responses were detected in 73% of immune responders (44% of evaluable patients) after the first vaccination. In 83% of immune responders (50% of evaluable patients), peptide-specific T cell responses were detected at ?2 time points post vaccination with 64% of the responders (39% of evaluable patients) showing evidence of immune persistence. Immune monitoring also demonstrated the generation of antigen-specific T cell memory with the ability to secrete multiple Type 1 cytokines.The novel DepoVax formulation promotes multifunctional effector memory responses to peptide-based tumor associated antigens. The data supports the capacity of DPX-0907 to elicit Type-1 biased immune responses, warranting further clinical development of the vaccine. This study underscores the importance of applying vaccines in clinical settings in which patients are more likely to be immune competent.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01095848.
Project description:Vaccination remains the most effective public health tool to prevent infectious diseases. Many vaccines are marginally effective and need enhancement for immunocompromised, elderly, and very young populations. To enhance immunogenicity, we exploited the biphasic property of the (RADA)4 synthetic oligopeptide to create VacSIM (vaccine self-assembling immune matrix), a new delivery method. VacSIM solution can easily be mixed with antigens, organisms, and adjuvants for injection. Postinjection, the peptides self-assemble into hydrated nanofiber gel matrices, forming a depot with antigens and adjuvants in the aqueous phase. We believe the depot provides slow release of immunogens, leading to increased activation of antigen-presenting cells that then drive enhanced immunogenicity. Using recombinant hepatitis B virus surface antigen (rHBsAg) as a model immunogen, we compared VacSIM delivery to delivery in alum or complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Delivery of the rHBsAg antigen to mice via VacSIM without adjuvant elicited higher specific IgG responses than when rHBsAg was delivered in alum or CFA. Evaluating IgG subtypes showed a mixed Th1/Th2 type response following immunization with VacSIM, which was driven further toward Th1 with addition of CpG as the adjuvant. Increased specific IgG endpoint titers were observed in both C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, representative of Th1 and Th2 environments, respectively. Restimulation of splenocytes suggests that VacSIM does not cause an immediate proinflammatory response in the host. Overall, these results suggest that VacSIM, as a new delivery method, has the potential to enhance immunogenicity and efficacy of numerous vaccines.
Project description:In the preclinical development of immunotherapy candidates, understanding the mechanism of action and determining biomarkers that accurately characterize the induced host immune responses is critical to improving their clinical interpretation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to evaluate in vivo changes in lymph node size in response to a peptide-based cancer vaccine therapy, formulated using DepoVax (DPX). DPX is a novel adjuvant lipid-in-oil-based formulation that facilitates enhanced immune responses by retaining antigens at the injection site for extended latencies, promoting increased potentiation of immune cells. C57BL/6 mice were implanted with C3 (HPV) tumor cells and received either DPX or control treatments, 5 days post-implantation. Complete tumor eradication occurred in DPX-vaccinated animals and large volumetric increases were observed in the vaccine-draining right inguinal lymph node (VRILN) in DPX mice, likely corresponding to increased localized immune response to the vaccine. Upon evaluating the relative measure of vaccine-potentiated immune activation to tumor-induced immune response (VRILN/VLILN), receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves revealed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.90 (±0.07), indicating high specificity and sensitivity as a predictive biomarker of vaccine efficacy. We have determined that for this tumor model, early MRI lymph node volumetric changes are predictive of depot immunotherapeutic success.
Project description:Anthrax is a serious biological threat caused by pulmonary exposure to aerosolized spores of Bacillus anthracis. Biothrax® (anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA)) is the only Food and Drug Administration-licensed vaccine and requires five administrations over 12 months with annual boosting to maintain pre-exposure prophylaxis. Here we report the evaluation of a single intramuscular injection of recombinant B. anthracis-protective antigen (rPA) formulated in the DPX delivery platform. Immune responses were compared to an alum-based formulation in mice and rabbits. Serological analysis of anti-rPA immunoglobulin G and toxin neutralization activity demonstrated higher responses induced by DPX-rPA when compared to rPA in alum. DPX-rPA was compared to AVA in rabbits and non-human primates (NHPs). In both species, DPX-rPA generated responses after a single immunization, whereas AVA required two immunizations. In rabbits, single injection of DPX-rPA or two injections of AVA conferred 100% protection from anthrax challenge. In NHPs, single-dose DPX-rPA was 100% protective against challenge, whereas one animal in the two-dose AVA group and all saline administered animals succumbed to infection. DPX-rPA was minimally reactogenic in all species tested. These data indicate that DPX-rPA may offer improvement over AVA by reducing the doses needed for protective immune responses and is a promising candidate as a new-generation anthrax vaccine.
Project description:The use of a good vaccine adjuvant may induce a higher immunogenicity profile of vaccine antigens. Here, we developed a new adjuvant by combining poly-?-glutamic acid (?-PGA) with alum (PGA/Alum) and investigated its ability to enhance the immunogenicity and the cross-reactive efficacy of pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza vaccine antigen. PGA/Alum enhanced antigen delivery to draining lymph nodes and antigen-specific immunogenicity in mice using OVA as a model antigen. It also greatly increased OVA-specific antibody production, cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). These abilities of PGA/Alum improved the protective efficacy of pH1N1 vaccine antigen by increasing hemagglutination-inhibition titers, enhancing ADCC and CTL activity, and speeding viral clearance following homologous viral challenge. Importantly, the cross-protective efficacy of pH1N1 vaccine against heterologous viruses [A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1) and A/Hong Kong/1/1968 (H3N2)] was significantly enhanced by PGA/Alum, and cross-reactive ADCC and CTL activities were observed. Together, our results strongly suggest that PGA/Alum may be a promising vaccine adjuvant for preventing influenza and other infectious diseases.
Project description:The induction of tumor-targeted, cytotoxic T lymphocytes has been recognized as a key component to successful immunotherapy. DPX-based treatment was previously shown to effectively recruit activated CD8+ T cells to the tumor. Herein, we analyze the unique phenotype of the CD8+ T cells recruited into the tumor in response to DPX-based therapy, and how combination with checkpoint inhibitors impacts T cell response. C3-tumor-bearing mice were treated with cyclophosphamide (CPA) for seven continuous days every other week, followed by DPX treatment along with anti-CTLA-4 and/or anti-PD-1. Efficacy, immunogenicity, and CD8+ T cells tumor infiltration were assessed. The expression of various markers, including checkpoint markers, peptide specificity, and proliferation and activation markers, was determined by flow cytometry. tSNE analysis of the flow data revealed a resident phenotype of CD8+ T cells (PD-1+TIM-3+CTLA-4+) within untreated tumors, whereas DPX/CPA treatment induced recruitment of a novel population of CD8+ T cells (PD-1+TIM-3+CTLA-4-) within tumors. Combination of anti-CTLA-4 (ipilimumab) with DPX/CPA versus DPX/CPA alone significantly increased survival and inhibition of tumor growth, without changing overall systemic immunogenicity. Addition of checkpoint inhibitors did not significantly change the phenotype of the newly recruited cells induced by DPX/CPA. Yet, anti-CTLA-4 treatment in combination with DPX/CPA enhanced a non-antigen specific response within the tumor. Finally, the tumor-recruited CD8+ T cells induced by DPX/CPA were highly activated, antigen-specific, and proliferative, while resident phenotype CD8+ T cells, seemingly initially exhausted, were reactivated with combination treatment. This study supports the potential of combining DPX/CPA with ipilimumab to further enhance survival clinically.
Project description:Alum adjuvants have been in continuous clinical use for more than 80 yr. While the prevailing theory has been that depot formation and the associated slow release of antigen and/or inflammation are responsible for alum enhancement of antigen presentation and subsequent T- and B-cell responses, this has never been formally proven. To examine antigen persistence, we used the chimeric fluorescent protein E?GFP, which allows assessment of antigen presentation in situ, using the Y-Ae antibody. We demonstrate that alum and/or CpG adjuvants induced similar uptake of antigen, and in all cases, GFP signal did not persist beyond 24 h in draining lymph node antigen-presenting cells. Antigen presentation was first detectable on B cells within 6-12 h of antigen administration, followed by conventional dendritic cells (DCs) at 12-24 h, then finally plasmacytoid DCs at 48 h or later. Again, alum and/or CpG adjuvants did not have an effect on the magnitude or sequence of this response; furthermore, they induced similar antigen-specific T-cell activation in vivo. Notably, removal of the injection site and associated alum depot, as early as 2 h after administration, had no appreciable effect on antigen-specific T- and B-cell responses. This study clearly rules out a role for depot formation in alum adjuvant activity.
Project description:A recent clinical trial in African children demonstrated the potential utility of merozoite surface protein (MSP)-3 as a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The present study evaluated the use of Plasmodium vivax MSP-3 (PvMSP-3) as a target antigen in vaccine formulations against malaria caused by P. vivax. Recombinant proteins representing MSP-3? and MSP-3? of P. vivax were expressed as soluble histidine-tagged bacterial fusions. Antigenicity during natural infection was evaluated by detecting specific antibodies using sera from individuals living in endemic areas of Brazil. A large proportion of infected individuals presented IgG antibodies to PvMSP-3? (68.2%) and at least 1 recombinant protein representing PvMSP-3? (79.1%). In spite of the large responder frequency, reactivity to both antigens was significantly lower than was observed for the immunodominant epitope present on the 19-kDa C-terminal region of PvMSP-1. Immunogenicity of the recombinant proteins was studied in mice in the absence or presence of different adjuvant formulations. PvMSP-3?, but not PvMSP-3?, induced a TLR4-independent humoral immune response in the absence of any adjuvant formulation. The immunogenicity of the recombinant antigens were also tested in formulations containing different adjuvants (Alum, Salmonella enterica flagellin, CpG, Quil A,TiterMax® and incomplete Freunds adjuvant) and combinations of two adjuvants (Alum plus flagellin, and CpG plus flagellin). Recombinant PvMSP-3? and PvMSP-3? elicited higher antibody titers capable of recognizing P. vivax-infected erythrocytes harvested from malaria patients. Our results confirm that P. vivax MSP-3 antigens are immunogenic during natural infection, and the corresponding recombinant proteins may be useful in elucidating their vaccine potential.
Project description:Opioid use disorders (OUD) and fatal overdoses are a national emergency in the United States. Therapeutic vaccines offer a promising strategy to treat OUD and reduce the incidence of overdose. Immunization with opioid-based haptens conjugated to immunogenic carriers elicits opioid-specific antibodies that block opioid distribution to the brain and reduce opioid-induced behavior and toxicity in pre-clinical models. This study tested whether the efficacy of a lead oxycodone conjugate vaccine was improved by formulation in either aluminum hydroxide or the squalene-based oil-in-water emulsion MF59 adjuvant, which was recently FDA-approved for influenza vaccines in subjects 65+ years old. In adult BALB/c mice, alum formulation was more effective than MF59 at promoting the early expansion of hapten-specific B cells and the production of oxycodone-specific serum IgG antibodies, as well as blocking oxycodone distribution to the brain and oxycodone-induced motor activity. Alum was also more effective than MF59 at promoting early differentiation of peptide-specific MHCII-restricted CD4+ Tfh and GC-Tfh cells in adult C57Bl/6 mice immunized with a model peptide-protein conjugate. In contrast, alum and MF59 were equally effective in promoting hapten-specific B cells and peptide-specific MHCII-restricted CD4+ T cell differentiation in older C57Bl/6 mice. These data suggest that alum is a more effective adjuvant than MF59 for conjugate vaccines targeting synthetic small molecule haptens or peptide antigens in adult, but not aged, mice.