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PREVNAR® 13 Clinical Pharmacology (pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine - diphtheria CRM197 protein)


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Prevnar 13, comprised of pneumococcal polysaccharides conjugated to a carrier protein (CRM197), elicits a T-cell dependent immune response. Protein carrier-specific T-cells provide the signals needed for maturation of the B-cell response.

Nonclinical and clinical data support opsonophagocytic activity, as measured by opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) antibody assay, as a contributor to protection against pneumococcal disease. The OPA antibody assay provides an in vitro measurement of the ability of serum antibodies to eliminate pneumococci by promoting complement-mediated phagocytosis and is believed to reflect relevant in vivo mechanisms of protection against pneumococcal disease. OPA antibody titers are expressed as the reciprocal of the highest serum dilution that reduces survival of the pneumococci by at least 50%.

In infants that have received Prevnar 13, opsonophagocytic activity correlates well with serotype specific anti-capsular polysaccharide IgG levels as measured by ELISA. A serum anti-capsular polysaccharide antibody concentration of 0.35 µg/mL as measured by ELISA one month after the third dose as a single antibody reference concentration was used to estimate the effectiveness of Prevnar 13 against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in infants and children. The assay used for this determination is a standardized ELISA involving pre-absorption of the test sera with pneumococcal C-polysaccharide and serotype 22F polysaccharide to reduce non-specific background reactivity. The single antibody reference value was based on pooled efficacy estimates from three placebo-controlled IPD efficacy trials with either Prevnar or the investigational 9-valent CRM197 conjugate pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. This reference concentration is only applicable on a population basis and cannot be used to predict protection against IPD on an individual basis. Functional antibodies elicited by the vaccine (as measured by a dribble opsonophagocytic activity [dOPA] antibody assay) were also evaluated in infants.

In adults, an antipolysaccharide binding antibody IgG level to predict protection against invasive pneumococcal disease or non-bacteremic pneumonia has not been defined. Noninferiority trials for Prevnar 13 were designed to show that functional OPA antibody responses (as measured by a microcolony OPA [mcOPA] antibody assay) for the Prevnar 13 serotypes are noninferior and for some serotypes superior to the common serotypes in the currently licensed pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). OPA antibody titers measured in the mcOPA antibody assay cannot be compared directly to titers measured in the dOPA antibody assay.

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