Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike S1-Fc fusion protein induced high levels of neutralizing responses in nonhuman primates
George F. Gao,
Posted 23 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.21.052209 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.06.066)
Posted 23 Apr 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has become a global pandemic responsible for over 2,000,000 confirmed cases and over 126,000 deaths worldwide. In this study, we examined the immunogenicity of CHO-expressed recombinant SARS-CoV-2 S1-Fc fusion protein in mice, rabbits, and monkeys as a potential candidate for a COVID-19 vaccine. We demonstrate that the S1-Fc fusion protein is extremely immunogenic, as evidenced by strong antibody titers observed by day 7. Strong virus neutralizing activity was observed on day 14 in rabbits immunized with the S1-Fc fusion protein using a pseudovirus neutralization assay. Most importantly, in less than 20 days and three injections of the S1-Fc fusion protein, two monkeys developed higher virus neutralizing titers than a recovered COVID-19 patient in a live SARS-CoV-2 infection assay. Our data strongly suggests that the CHO-expressed SARS-CoV-2 S1-Fc recombinant protein could be a strong candidate for vaccine development against COVID-19. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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