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Vaccibody enters license agreement with Adaptive Biotechnologies

Agnete B Fredriksen

Vaccibody has entered into an exclusive agreement with Adaptive Biotechnologies to use a broad selection of virus-specific T cell epitopes identified by Adaptive for Vaccibody to design and develop novel SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Under the terms of the license agreement, Adaptive has provided certain selected T-cell epitopesfor exclusive use in Vaccibody’s next-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Vaccibody will be responsible for further development of the potential T-cell SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates. Financial terms of this agreement will not be disclosed.

“To date, SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in the death of over 4 million people globally and we are facing a tremendous threat from emerging variants of concern. We are very excited to have access to Adaptive’s T cell epitopes for our use in developing second-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to specifically address current and future variants of concern. Vaccibody has exclusively licensed validated SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes for use in the design and development of our T-cell vaccine candidates, including the candidate in our previously announced clinical trial,” says Agnete B. Fredriksen, Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer of Vaccibody.

Read more: Vaccibody to initiate a phase 1/2 vaccine trial

2-armed strategy

Vaccibody’s development strategy for its second-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is designed to respond to the emerging threats of evolving variants with reduced sensitivity to first generation vaccines that were developed using the 2020 prototype spike protein, describes the company in a press release. The 2-armed strategy aims to develop two candidates for the broad population.

“First, a vaccine candidate encoding the receptor binding domain (RBD) derived from the South African beta variant of concern. And second, a T cell based vaccine candidate, encoding multiple validated immunodominant, conserved Adaptive-identified T-cell epitopes spanning multiple antigens across the SARS-CoV-2 genome.”

First, a vaccine candidate encoding the receptor binding domain (RBD) derived from the South African beta variant of concern. And second, a T cell based vaccine candidate, encoding multiple validated immunodominant, conserved Adaptive-identified T-cell epitopes spanning multiple antigens across the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

T-cell epitopes

Adaptive has mapped the T cell immune response using more than 6,500 samples from patients impacted by COVID-19. Adaptive used its immune medicine platform, leveraging its antigen mapping and deep sequencing capabilities, to identify naturally processed and presented T-cell epitopes to SARS-CoV-2 antigens, describes Vaccibody. Adaptive’s T-cell epitopes will be used by Vaccibody in its modular vaccine technology platform to target specific SARS-CoV-2 antigens to antigen presenting cells.

“Our T-cell candidate may have both prophylactic and therapeutic potential and may also fit the profile of a universal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine booster for individuals previously vaccinated with Spike based vaccines.”

“Adaptive’s epitopes have enabled us to create a multivalent SARS-CoV-2 T-cell vaccine that may provide more complete viral protection, long-term immunity and viral clearance compared to first generation vaccines. Our T-cell candidate may have both prophylactic and therapeutic potential and may also fit the profile of a universal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine booster for individuals previously vaccinated with Spike based vaccines,” says Mikkel W. Pedersen, Chief Scientific Officer of Vaccibody.

Initiation is planned for Q4 2021

Vaccibody has demonstrated that the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate that incorporates Adaptive’s T-cell epitopes induces a rapid, strong and broad T-cell response after administration of a single dose in a humanized preclinical model.

The phase 1/2 trial is currently in the planning phase. The CTA (Clinical Trial Application) is expected to be submitted in Q3 2021 and initiation is planned for Q4 2021. The clinical trial will be conducted in Norway.

Photo of Agnete B. Fredriksen, Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer of Vaccibody