Oxford Immunotec Global PLC, Oxford, UK, has started a collaboration with Valneva, Marlborough, Mass. The company will perform T cell testing on participants receiving Valneva’s inactivated whole-virus covid-19 vaccine candidate (VLA2001) with the research-use-only T-SpotT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 test. The VLA2001-201 study is a randomized Phase I/II clinical study designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus vaccine candidate in healthy subjects, the first study of its kind performed in Europe.

The company’s T-Spot Discovery SARS-CoV-2 test will assess if the vaccination induces a T cell response in study subjects.

T-Spot Discovery SARS-CoV-2 builds on Oxford Immunotec’s experience with its T-Spot technology platform, used clinically for diagnosis of TB (the T-Spot.TB test) and the assessment of the immune response to CMV in transplant patients (the T-Spot.CMV test). The T-Spot technology platform is a commercialized and regulated ELISPOT platform, which allows for the standardized and reproducible measurement of T cells reactive to SARS-CoV-2. It also allows centralization of sample processing when used with Oxford Immunotec’s T-Cell Xtend reagent, which extends the time from sample collection to the start of sample processing to up to 32 hours.

The T-Spot Discovery SARS-CoV-2 test has demonstrated in previous studies that SARS-CoV-2 responsive T cell numbers were associated with protection from covid-19. Collecting T cell data in the VLA2001-201 study may add valuable additional information for assessing the efficacy of Valneva’s inactivated whole-virus vaccine candidate.

“I am proud of all the hard work being done by our teams to enable our T cell test to be used to better understand the efficacy of this vaccine candidate,” says Peter Wrighton-Smith, PhD, CEO of Oxford Immunotec. “Understanding the T cell response as well as the antibody response will lead to a greater understanding of the breadth of the immune response to this candidate, and that could be vitally important, particularly as new variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to appear.”

For additional information, visit Oxford Immunotec and Valneva.

Featured image: Close up of doctor holding syringe and using cotton before injecting patient in medical mask. Covid-19 or coronavirus vaccine. (Photo: ID 188947284 © Geargodz | Dreamstime.com)