A small Pennsylvania biotech firm has been given regulatory clearance to commence clinical testing for a potential coronavirus vaccine and the company is now aiming to start injecting healthy volunteers.
Researchers administered the dose to the first person on Monday, the Business Insider reported. The experimental vaccine was created by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and the initiative was awarded funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the report said.
Inovio's candidate, called INO-4800, is the second potential coronavirus vaccine to begin human trials in the US, the report added. Moderna, the Massachusetts biotech firm, began dosing in March for its safety trial.
Anthony Fauci, the longtime leader of the National Institutes of Health's infectious disease unit, has time and again said that it would take at least a year to know for certain if any vaccine is safe and effective against the novel coronavirus, the report added.
For the said vaccine study, Inovio is registering around 40 healthy adult volunteers at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school in Philadelphia, as well as, at the Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City, Missouri. Every participant will be administered two doses of the vaccines, each four weeks apart, the report said.
Inovio is anticipating a quick registration in the study and safety results by summer and if the outcome is positive, the company shall swiftly begin another study assessing the vaccine’s potency against the virus.
Owing to the magnitude of the demand, any vaccine that shows to be safe and effective will see huge hurdles in the manufacturing phase. Inovio has said that it is now ramping up its production capacity and is seeking to make available 1 million doses by the end of 2020, the report said.