Title: A thermostable mRNA vaccine against COVID-19
Author: Na-Na Zhang, Xiao-Feng Li, Yong-Qiang Deng, Hui Zhao, Yi-Jiao Huang, Guan Yang, Wei-Jin Huang, Peng Gao, Chao Zhou, Rong-Rong Zhang, Yan Guo, Shi-Hui Sun, Hang Fan, Shu-Long Zu, Qi Chen, Qi He, Tian-Shu Cao, Xing-Yao Huang, Hong-Ying Qiu, Jian-Hui Nie, Yuhang Jiang, Hua-Yuan Yan, Qing Ye, Xia Zhong, Xia-Lin Xue, Zhen-Yu Zha, Dongsheng Zhou, Xiao Yang, You-Chun Wang, Bo Ying, Cheng-Feng Qin
Abstract: There has been an urgent need of vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Among all approaches, messenger RNA (mRNA) -based vaccine has emerged as a rapid and versatile platform to quickly respond to such a challenge. Here, we developed a lipid-nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 as a vaccine candidate (termed ARCoV). Intramuscular immunization of ARCoV mRNA-LNPs elicited robust neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as well as Th1-biased cellular response in mice and non-human primates. Two doses of ARCoV immunization in mice conferred complete protection against the challenge of a SARS-CoV-2 mouse adapted strain. Additionally, ARCoV was manufactured in liquid formulation and can be stored at room temperature for at least one week. This novel COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, ARCoV, is currently being evaluated in phase 1 clinical trials.