Immune Correlates Analysis of the PREVENT-19 COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Clinical Trial
Lindsay N. Carpp,
Lisa M. Dunkle,
Christopher R Houchens,
Lars W. P. van der Laan,
Nima S. Hejazi,
April Kaur Randhawa,
Michele P. Andrasik,
James G. Kublin,
Tatiana H. Beresnev,
Kathleen M. Neuzil,
Julie A. Ake,
Cynthia L. Gay,
Karen L. Kotloff,
Richard A. Koup,
Ruben O. Donis,
Peter B Gilbert,
Immune Assays Team,
Coronavirus Vaccine Prevention Network (CoVPN)/2019nCoV-301 Principal Investigators and Study Team,
United States Government (USG)/CoVPN Biostatistics Team
Posted 23 Jun 2022
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2022.06.22.22276362
Posted 23 Jun 2022
In the randomized, placebo-controlled PREVENT-19 phase 3 trial conducted in the U.S. and Mexico of the NVX-CoV2373 adjuvanted, recombinant spike protein nanoparticle vaccine, anti-spike binding IgG concentration (spike IgG) and pseudovirus 50% neutralizing antibody titer (nAb ID50) measured two weeks after two doses were assessed as correlates of risk and as correlates of protection against PCR-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). These immune correlates analyses were conducted in the U.S. cohort of baseline SARS-CoV-2 negative per-protocol participants using a case-cohort design that measured the antibody markers from all 12 vaccine recipient breakthrough COVID-19 cases starting 7 days post antibody measurement and from 639 vaccine recipient non-cases (Mexico was excluded due to zero breakthrough cases with the efficacy data cut-off date April 19, 2021). In vaccine recipients, the baseline risk factor-adjusted hazard ratio of COVID-19 was 0.36 (95% CI: 0.20, 0.63), p<0.001 (adjusted p-0.005) per 10-fold increase in IgG spike concentration and 0.39 (0.19, 0.82), p=0.013 (adjusted p=0.030) per 10-fold increase in nAb ID50 titer. At spike IgG concentration 100, 1000, and 6934 binding antibody units/ml (100 is the 3rd percentile, 6934 is the 97.5th percentile), vaccine efficacy to reduce the probability of acquiring COVID-19 at 59 days post marker measurement was 65.5% (95% CI: 23.0%, 90.8%), 87.7% (77.7%, 94.4%), and 94.8% (88.0%, 97.9%), respectively. At nAb ID50 titers of 50, 100, 1000, and 7230 IU50/ml (50 is the 5th percentile, 7230 the 97.5th percentile), these estimates were 75.7% (49.8%, 93.2%), 81.7% (66.3%, 93.2%), 92.8% (85.1%, 97.4%) and 96.8% (88.3%, 99.3%). The same two antibody markers were assessed as immune correlates via the same study design and statistical analysis in the mRNA-1273 phase 3 COVE trial (except in COVE the markers were measured four weeks post dose two). Spike IgG levels were slightly lower and nAb ID50 titers slightly higher after NVX-CoV2373 than after mRNA-1273 vaccination. The strength of the nAb ID50 correlate was similar between the trials, whereas the spike IgG antibodies appeared to correlate more strongly with NVX-CoV2373 in PREVENT-19, as quantified by the hazard ratio and the degree of change in vaccine efficacy across antibody levels. However, the relatively few breakthrough cases in PREVENT-19 limited the ability to infer a stronger correlate. The conclusion is that both markers were consistent correlates of protection for the two vaccines, supporting potential cross-vaccine platform applications of these markers for guiding decisions about vaccine approval and use.
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