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September 2020

A Thermostable mRNA Vaccine against COVID-19

Cell. 2020 Jul 23:S0092-8674(20)30932-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.07.024. PMID: 32795413; PMCID: PMC7377714


Zhang NN, Li XF, Deng YQ, Zhao H, Huang YJ, Yang G, Huang WJ, Gao P, Zhou C, Zhang RR, Guo Y, Sun SH, Fan H, Zu SL, Chen Q, He Q, Cao TS, Huang XY, Qiu HY, Nie JH, Jiang Y, Yan HY, Ye Q, Zhong X, Xue XL, Zha ZY, Zhou D, Yang X, Wang YC, Ying B, Qin CF


There is an urgent need for vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Among all approaches, a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccine has emerged as a rapid and versatile platform to quickly respond to this challenge. Here, we developed a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 as a vaccine candidate (called ARCoV). Intramuscular immunization of ARCoV mRNA-LNP elicited robust neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as well as a Th1-biased cellular response in mice and non-human primates. Two doses of ARCoV immunization in mice conferred complete protection against the challenge of a SARS-CoV-2 mouse-adapted strain. Additionally, ARCoV is manufactured as a liquid formulation and can be stored at room temperature for at least 1 week. ARCoV is currently being evaluated in phase 1 clinical trials.