Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
The profound consequences of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mandate urgent development of effective vaccines. Here, we evaluated an Amphiphile (AMP) vaccine adjuvant, AMP-CpG, composed of diacyl lipid-modified CpG, admixed with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike-2 receptor binding domain protein as a candidate vaccine (ELI-005) in mice. AMP modification efficiently delivers CpG to lymph nodes, where innate and adaptive immune responses are generated. Compared to alum, immunization with AMP-CpG induced >25-fold higher antigen-specific T cells that produced multiple T helper 1 (TH1) cytokines and trafficked into lung parenchyma. Antibody responses favored TH1 isotypes (IgG2c and IgG3) and potently neutralized Spike-2-ACE2 receptor binding, with titers 265-fold higher than natural convalescent patient COVID-19 responses; T cell and antibody responses were maintained despite 10-fold dose reduction in Spike antigen. Both cellular and humoral immune responses were preserved in aged mice. These advantages merit clinical translation to SARS-CoV-2 and other protein subunit vaccines.