A genetically engineered, stem-cell-derived cellular vaccine.


Despite rapid clinical translation of COVID-19 vaccines in response to the global pandemic, an opportunity remains for vaccine technology innovation to address current limitations and meet challenges of inevitable future pandemics. We describe a universal vaccine cell (UVC) genetically engineered to mimic natural physiological immunity induced upon viral infection of host cells. Cells engineered to express the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike as a representative viral antigen induce robust neutralizing antibodies in immunized non-human primates. Similar titers generated in this established non-human primate (NHP) model have translated into protective human neutralizing antibody levels in SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated individuals. Animals vaccinated with ancestral spike antigens and subsequently challenged with SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in a heterologous challenge have an approximately 3 log decrease in viral subgenomic RNA in the lungs. This cellular vaccine is designed as a scalable cell line with a modular poly-antigenic payload, allowing for rapid, large-scale clinical manufacturing and use in an evolving viral variant environment.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Cooper, Amanda, Adam Sidaway, Abishek Chandrashekar, Elizabeth Latta, Krishnendu Chakraborty, Jingyou Yu, Katherine McMahan, Victoria Giffin, et al. (2022). A genetically engineered, stem-cell-derived cellular vaccine. Cell reports. Medicine, 3(12). p. 100843. 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100843 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26543.

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Cordelia Manickam

Assistant Professor in Surgery

Roger Keith Reeves

Professor in Surgery

Formerly of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. R. Keith Reeves is currently tenured Professor of Surgery at Duke University, as well as Director of the Division of Innate and Comparative Immunology and Head of Innovation Partnerships in the Center for Human Systems Immunology. He is also currently the Director of the Duke CFAR Developmental Core and Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. Over his academic career he has published extensively in the field of NK cell biology, providing some of the most comprehensive analyses of NK cells and innate lymphoid cells, including the first characterization of memory NK cells in any primate species.  Dr. Reeves’ research has been supported by NIH for over a decade by individual and consortia grants, and in addition to independent work, he collaborates as part of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney HIV Cure Collaboratory.   Dr. Reeves has also served on multiple standing NIH study sections (HIV Immunopathogenesis and Vaccine Development), as well as on standing and ad hoc grant review committees for amfAR, the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, the UK Medical Research Council and California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, among others.   Considered a global expert in NK cell biology, Dr. Reeves’ group continues to focus on cutting edge approaches to harness NK cells in the context of vaccines and antiviral therapeutics for HIV, CMV, HCV, influenza and SARSCoV2.

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