Start of second study phase of the vector vaccine against COVID-19 postponed

Initial data for the Corona vaccine show good tol-erability, but weak immune response.

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The further development of the vector vaccine MVA-SARS-2-S against COVID-19 by IDT Biologika GmbH and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is postponed. The vector vaccine has been developed by the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich. Results of the first clinical trial by the University Hospital Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the Institute of Virology of the Philipps University Marburg regarding the vaccine’s safety, tolerability and immunological efficacy are now available. Vaccinations are safe and well tolerated with a low side effect profile; however, the immune responses in the preliminary results fall below expected levels. The clinical trial is to be continued as soon as the causes of this are clarified.

Until mid-December, the MVA-SARS-2-S vector vaccine had been administered in two different dosage levels to a total of 30 male and female subjects. While the vaccine had shown a robust immune response and protective effect in preclinical models, both were lower in the first phase of the clinical trial. The causes of this are currently under investigation. The phase II study, originally planned for the start of the year, will thus be postponed until clarification.

“Data evaluated to date show that an immune response is evident, but not generated to the expected extent. Because we are aware of our great responsibility for the health of the population and the best possible protective effect of the vaccine, we are now working on optimising the vaccine in order to achieve this goal”, explains Prof. Dr. Marylyn Addo, Principal Investigator of the clinical study and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UKE, on behalf of all the consortium’s partners.

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