A randomized placebo-controlled phase Ia malaria vaccine trial of two virosome-formulated synthetic peptides in healthy adult volunteers.


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A randomized placebo-controlled phase Ia malaria vaccine trial of two virosome-formulated synthetic peptides in healthy adult volunteers.
Genton B., Pluschke G., Degen L., Kammer A.R., Westerfeld N., Okitsu S.L., Schroller S., Vounatsou P., Mueller M.M., Tanner M., Zurbriggen R.
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Publication types: Clinical Trial, Phase I ; Journal Article ; Randomized Controlled Trial ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Influenza virosomes represent an innovative human-compatible antigen delivery system that has already proven its suitability for subunit vaccine design. The aim of the study was to proof the concept that virosomes can also be used to elicit high titers of antibodies against synthetic peptides. The specific objective was to demonstrate the safety and immunogenicity of two virosome-formulated P. falciparum protein derived synthetic peptide antigens given in two different doses alone or in combination. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The design was a single blind, randomized, placebo controlled, dose-escalating study involving 46 healthy Caucasian volunteers aged 18-45 years. Five groups of 8 subjects received virosomal formulations containing 10 microg or 50 microg of AMA 49-CPE, an apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) derived synthetic phospatidylethanolamine (PE)-peptide conjugate or 10 ug or 50 ug of UK39, a circumsporozoite protein (CSP) derived synthetic PE-peptide conjugate or 50 ug of both antigens each. A control group of 6 subjects received unmodified virosomes. Virosomal formulations of the antigens (designated PEV301 and PEV302 for the AMA-1 and the CSP virosomal vaccine, respectively) or unmodified virosomes were injected i. m. on days 0, 60 and 180. In terms of safety, no serious or severe adverse events (AEs) related to the vaccine were observed. 11/46 study participants reported 16 vaccine related local AEs. Of these 16 events, all being pain, 4 occurred after the 1(st), 7 after the 2(nd) and 5 after the 3(rd) vaccination. 6 systemic AEs probably related to the study vaccine were reported after the 1(st) injection, 10 after the 2(nd) and 6 after the 3(rd). Generally, no difference in the distribution of the systemic AEs between either the doses applied (10 respectively 50 microg) or the synthetic antigen vaccines (PEV301 and PEV302) used for immunization was found. In terms of immunogenicity, both PEV301 and PEV302 elicited already after two injections a synthetic peptide-specific antibody response in all volunteers immunized with the appropriate dose. In the case of PEV301 the 50 microg antigen dose was associated with a higher mean antibody titer and seroconversion rate than the 10 microg dose. In contrast, for PEV302 mean titer and seroconversion rate were higher with the lower dose. Combined delivery of PEV301 and PEV302 did not interfere with the development of an antibody response to either of the two antigens. No relevant antibody responses against the two malaria antigens were observed in the control group receiving unmodified virosomes. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that three immunizations with the virosomal malaria vaccine components PEV301 or/and PEV302 (containing 10 microg or 50 microg of antigen) are safe and well tolerated. At appropriate antigen doses seroconversion rates of 100% were achieved. Two injections may be sufficient for eliciting an appropriate immune response, at least in individuals with pre-existing anti-malarial immunity. These results justify further development of a final multi-stage virosomal vaccine formulation incorporating additional malaria antigens. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00400101.
Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Antigens, Viral, Humans, Malaria, Malaria Vaccines, Peptides, Phosphatidylethanolamines, Placebos, Plasmodium falciparum, Prospective Studies, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, Virosomes
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28/01/2008 12:49
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20/08/2019 17:26
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