SILVER SPRING, Md. – Some recent reports about Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s COVID-19 Vaccine Development have led to inaccurate representations which require clarification. Last week, the preclinical results of the Army COVID-19 vaccine, SpFN, were published in Science Translational Medicine. The Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle platform is designed to protect against an array of SARS-CoV-2 variants and SARS-origin variants but was not tested on the Omicron variant.
Scientists from WRAIR remain encouraged by the early data from preclinical studies and testing against the variants is ongoing in a neutralization assay in the laboratory. Currently WRAIR researchers are analyzing the phase 1 human trials data. Final phase 1 study results will be made public once the analysis is complete and published in a peer-reviewed journal.
For more information contact WRAIR Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can be found here: https://www.wrair.army.mil/node/657
About the Army-developed SpFN vaccine
The SpFN vaccine is a protein subunit nanoparticle vaccine platform, meaning it presents a fragment of a virus to the immune system to elicit a protective response. SpFN comprises multiple coronavirus Spike proteins linked to the surface of a multifaceted ferritin nanoparticle. Researchers hypothesize that presenting multiple copies of Spike in an ordered fashion may be the key to inducing a potent and broad immune response. The platform also has advantages as a potentially global vaccine because it remains stable at a wide range of temperatures. This would be especially useful in settings where ultra-cold freezers are scarce.
The SpFN vaccine is formulated with an adjuvant called ALFQ, one of the Army Liposome Formulation family of adjuvants developed by Army researchers at WRAIR. An adjuvant is a component of a vaccine that helps activate the immune system and improve immune responses. Preclinical and early clinical studies have demonstrated ALFQ to be safe and strongly potent as a vaccine adjuvant.
The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) (https://www.wrair.army.mil), part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, provides unique research capabilities and innovative medical solutions to a range of Force Health Protection and Readiness challenges currently facing U.S. Service Members, along with threats anticipated during future operations. WRAIR has created a model of vaccine and therapeutic development that is unique, nimble, and responsive to dynamically evolving infectious disease threats of military importance. Leveraging WRAIR’s expertise, facilities, and international network, the Institute has helped developed many of the vaccines and drugs in use today by military and civilian medicine, around the globe. In 2018, the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch was created with an explicit mission to survey, anticipate and counter the growing threat of emerging infectious diseases of key importance to U.S. forces in the homeland and abroad.