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Safety and immunogenicity of the protein-based PHH-1V compared to BNT162b2 as a heterologous SARS-CoV-2 booster vaccine in adults vaccinated against COVID-19: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, non-inferiority phase IIb trial.

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Background: A SARS-CoV-2 protein-based heterodimer vaccine, PHH-1V, has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in healthy young adults in a first-in-human, Phase I/IIa study dose-escalation trial. Here, we report the interim results of the Phase IIb HH-2, where the immunogenicity and safety of a heterologous booster with PHH-1V is assessed versus a homologous booster with BNT162b2 at 14, 28 and 98 days after vaccine administration.

Methods: The HH-2 study is an ongoing multicentre, randomised, active-controlled, double-blind, non-inferiority Phase IIb trial, where participants 18 years or older who had received two doses of BNT162b2 were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive a booster dose of vaccine-either heterologous (PHH-1V group) or homologous (BNT162b2 group)-in 10 centres in Spain. Eligible subjects were allocated to treatment stratified by age group (18-64 versus ≥65 years) with approximately 10% of the sample enrolled in the older age group. The primary endpoints were humoral immunogenicity measured by changes in levels of neutralizing antibodies (PBNA) against the ancestral Wuhan-Hu-1 strain after the PHH-1V or the BNT162b2 boost, and the safety and tolerability of PHH-1V as a boost. The secondary endpoints were to compare changes in levels of neutralizing antibodies against different variants of SARS-CoV-2 and the T-cell responses towards the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein peptides. The exploratory endpoint was to assess the number of subjects with SARS-CoV-2 infections ≥14 days after PHH-1V booster. This study is ongoing and is registered with, NCT05142553.

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