Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, and GSK are starting Phase II/III clinical trials of its plant-derived vaccine candidate for COVID-19 to evaluate its efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity.
Based on the positive Phase I results, Medicago has decided to launch the Phase II/III clinical trial with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant.
Nathalie Landry, Executive Vice President, Scientific and Medical Affairs at Medicago, said: “Our Phase I results of the adjuvanted vaccine candidate were very encouraging and fully support further clinical evaluation.”
Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer GSK Vaccines said: “This is the first of several GSK COVID-19 vaccine candidate collaborations to start Phase II/III clinical testing and an important step forward in our contribution to the global fight against the pandemic. We are delighted with the very promising Phase I results of Medicago’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate in combination with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant. Proven dose sparing and a high immune response due to GSK’s adjuvant make us confident of delivering an efficacious vaccine with an acceptable safety profile in collaboration with Medicago.”
The coronavirus-like particle COVID-19 vaccine candidate (CoVLP) is composed of recombinant spike (S) glycoprotein expressed as virus-like particles (VLPs).
The study is a multi-portion design to confirm that the chosen formulation and dosing regimen of CoVLP (two doses of 3.75 µg CoVLP combined with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant given 21 days apart) has an acceptable immunogenicity and safety profile in healthy adults 18-64 years of age and in elderly subjects aged 65 and over.
The Phase II trial part is a randomised, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the adjuvanted recombinant COVID-19 plant-derived vaccine candidate in subjects aged 18 and above. It will be conducted in multiple sites in Canada and, upon FDA allowance, in the United States and in a population composed of healthy adults (18-64y) and elderly adults (over 65y). Each age group will have over 300 subjects randomised 5:1 to receive the adjuvanted CoVLP vaccine candidate: placebo and with 2:1 stratification in older adults (65-74 and ≥75). All subjects will be followed for a period of 12 months after the last vaccination for the assessment of safety and durability of the immune responses to the vaccine candidate.
The Phase III part of the study will start before the end of 2020 and is an event-driven, randomised, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled design that will evaluate the efficacy and safety of the CoVLP formulation, compared to placebo, in over 30,000 subjects in North America, Latin America and/or Europe and within the same population, or – alternatively – amongst a broader one pending approval by regulatory authorities.
Image credit: SJ Objio