INOVIO Pharmaceuticals (INO) Stock Continues Up On COVID-19 Update

Grant Boone
April 8, 2020

A second United States company is poised to begin a small safety test of a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

In the press release, INOVIO Pharmaceuticals said that it has begun Phase 1 clinical testing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in healthy volunteers. The Phase 1 clinical trial is a placebo-controlled observer blinded study of ~130 healthy adults and includes assessment of dosage amount and number of vaccinations.

Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) is already working with Griffith University for conducting research and development of Zika virus vaccine, which is now at pre-clinical toxicology testing stage, the NDDB said in a statement. Earlier, Serum Institute of India, Cadila Healthcare and Bharat Biotech announced vaccine development programmes against COVID-19.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has launched phase one of their clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine.

While the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided $5 million to Inovio, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation has provided $9 million.

Separately, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation confirmed they were exploring using funding to "get the process (of building vaccines) moving". These volunteers will be screened at Philadelphia's Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania or the Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City.

Indian Immunologicals partners with Griffith University to develop COVID-19 vaccine
The immune system produces antibodies to fight off the newly detected pathogen, which can then help combat the novel coronavirus. Even if the research goes well, it is expected to take over a year before any vaccine could be widely available.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 60 types of vaccines against the new coronavirus are now under development around the world. If those results are positive, the company will quickly start another study focused on assessing the vaccine's efficacy against the virus. Inovio, the vaccine with successful animal testing, is now starting human testing.

In February, Sanofi started working with BARDA to use its recombinant DNA platform to test a preclinical vaccine candidate for COVID-19.

The live attenuated vaccines have a very strong cellular and antibody immune responses against the virus and a proven track record for economical large-scale manufacturing and well-known regulatory approval pathway, according to Professor Suresh Mahalingam, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Australia.

Inovio has been working on this DNA vaccine for a few years now.

CEPI is a global institution that promotes vaccine development.

In the statement made by Inovio, which can produce several thousand doses in a short time, it was announced that 1 million doses of vaccine can be produced that can be used in additional experiments or emergencies until the end of the year. All the initial immune responses and safety data from the study are expected by late summer.

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