A Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Backed By Bill And Melinda Gates Just Began Its Testing On People
A new vaccine against coronavirus is currently in Phase 1 human testing after the United States Food and Drug Administration accepted Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ application under the regulator’s Investigational New Drug program.
The company reportedly conducted its first INO-4800 DNA vaccine test on a volunteer two days ago. Hopes for the vaccine are high as results from studies performed on animals show that it does increase immune response.
The new vaccine works by injecting a plasmid into a person so that their cells formulate a targeted antibody to battle a specific infection. Even though they have been approved for a number of animal infections, DNA vaccines have not yet been approved for people to use.
Previously, Inovio completed a Phase 1 research for a DNA vaccine for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, where it gave positive results and a strong amount of antibodies produced in subjects that persisted for long periods of time.
In just a few weeks the company has produced “thousands of doses” of INO-4800 in order to help Phases 1 and 2 trials. Inovio was able to accomplish this in part thanks to the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in addition to funding from other nonprofit organizations. Should clinical trials prove to be successful, Inovio is ready to deliver up to one million vaccines by the end of 2020.
This is the second vaccine to go through Phase 1 testing on humans: The Moderna vaccine started its trial in March.
The Inovio trial phase will involve around 40 healthy volunteers all selected via screening.
It will run for a number of weeks, and Inovio expects data concerning immune system responses from people, as well as information about safety concerns, to come to the light this summer.
Unfortunately, any possible clearance for approval is most likely at least one year to 18 months away, but the speed with which things are currently moving is incredible, so fingers crossed we won’t have to wait too long.
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