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SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness


A vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is needed to control the global coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) public health crisis. Atomic-level structures directed the application of prefusion-stabilizing mutations that improved the expression and immunogenicity of betacoronavirus spike proteins1. Using this established immunogen design, the release of SARS-CoV-2 sequences triggered immediate rapid manufacturing of an mRNA vaccine expressing the prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike trimer (mRNA-1273). Here we show that mRNA-1273 induces both potent neutralizing antibody responses to wild-type (D614) and D614G mutant2 SARS-CoV-2 and CD8 T cell responses, and protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lungs and noses of mice without evidence of immunopathology. mRNA-1273 is currently in Phase 3 efficacy evaluation.

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Correspondence to Andrea Carfi or Barney S. Graham.

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Corbett, K.S., Edwards, D.K., Leist, S.R. et al. SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness. Nature (2020).

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