Dynavax Technologies has dosed the first subject in a Phase II clinical trial of a recombinant plague (rF1V) vaccine, along with the company’s CpG 1018 adjuvant.

The vaccine is being developed by the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND).

The trial is evaluating the immunogenicity, safety, and tolerability of the plague vaccine in adults aged 18 to 55 years.

It is analysing a two-dose series of the vaccine given over a month. 

Under a prior agreement, Dynavax and the DoD are working on developing an enhanced recombinant plague vaccine adjuvanted with the CpG 1018 adjuvant. 

The vaccine development is being carried out with nearly $22m of funding for more than two and a half years.

Dynavax is responsible for carrying out the Phase II trial of the CpG 1018 adjuvant plus the rF1V vaccine of the DoD under this deal. 

In prior clinical trials, a three-dose series of the rF1V vaccine without the CpG 1018 adjuvant was assessed for more than six months, the company noted.

The CpG 1018 adjuvant is developed by Dynavax to offer an enhanced vaccine immune response, with an improved tolerability profile.

This adjuvant is present in various Covid-19 vaccines that have obtained Emergency Use Authorisation outside the country, as well as in the HEPLISAV-B vaccine for hepatitis B for usage in adults. 

Dynavax Technologies CEO Ryan Spencer said: “We are proud to support the US government in developing an effective adjuvanted plague vaccine that we believe will allow US service members to be protected, with fewer doses administered over a shorter period of time. 

“The development of a CpG 1018 adjuvanted plague vaccine is an important example of the broad utility of our adjuvant, which we are leveraging to build our pipeline of new and improved vaccines.”

In March last year, the company, along with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, dosed the first subjects in a Phase II/III trial of the latter’s protein-based S-Trimer Covid-19 vaccine candidate adjuvanted with CpG 1018 plus alum.