OSE’s Covid-19 vaccine shows promise in preclinical studies

18 August 2020 (Last Updated August 18th, 2020 07:47)

OSE Immunotherapeutics has reported positive data from preclinical and human ex-vivo studies of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, named CoVepiT.

OSE’s Covid-19 vaccine shows promise in preclinical studies
CoVepiT is a neoepitope vaccine meant for prophylactic protection against Covid-19. Credit: ZaldyImg.

OSE Immunotherapeutics has reported positive data from preclinical and human ex-vivo studies of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoVepiT.

The company published the findings online on BioRxiv.

Based on optimised peptides improved with artificial intelligence algorithms, CoVepiT elicits a lasting sentinel T lymphocyte immune response against Covid-19.

It is a neoepitope vaccine meant for prophylactic protection against the disease, generated using OSE’s Memopi technology.

According to preclinical data, the candidate led to strong trigger of memory CD8 T lymphocytes against various SARS-CoV-2 proteins in vaccinated humanised mice.

In humanised mouse model studies, CoVepiT vaccination resulted in an encouraging phenotype of Tissue-resident memory T-cells (Trm).

These Trm cells protect barrier tissues such as the respiratory tract and the lung, and remove infected cells prior to significant virus replication, noted the company.

OSE added that patients with asymptomatic, moderate and severe Covid-19 showed strong memory T-cell responses against the company’s multi-target peptides.

OSE Immunotherapeutics chief scientific officer Nicolas Poirier said: “The CoVepiT programme is based on a clinically-validated technology now shown to induce tissue-resident memory T lymphocytes (Trm) sentinel response against multiple parts of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting it provides a long-term protective immunity, as opposed to transient protection provided by neutralising antibodies.

“In addition, this vaccine is designed to anticipate ongoing recurrent virus mutation and evolution, further adding to its long-term protective potential. T-cell epitopes were also selected based on the natural immunity observed against our peptides in convalescent Covid-19 patients.”

Funding from Nantes Metropole supported the preclinical programme of CoVepiT.

Based on these positive findings, OSE intends to launch a Phase I clinical trial by the end of this year or early next year to assess the vaccine candidate’s efficacy in humans.