A small biotech company in Pennsylvania is moving ahead testing healthy volunteers with a possible vaccine for the coronavirus, after receiving regulatory clearance to start clinical trials.
Researchers gave the first dose to the first person on Monday. It was developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, with funding coming from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
It is the second potential candidate for a vaccine that has entered testing, with the Massachusetts biotech Moderna starting testing in mid-March.
It is important to know that it will take at least a year for a vaccine to be determined as safe or effective against the virus.
For the study of this vaccine candidate, Inovio is enrolling 40 healthy adult participants in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school and in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Center for Pharmaceutical Research. Each volunteer will receive two doses, four weeks apart. The company expects there to be plenty of people enlisting and for safety results to be found by late summer.
No matter what, any vaccine will face some great difficulties on production, given how high demand is for it. Inovio is boosting its production capabilities, aiming to have one million doses available by the end of 2020. If required, these doses could also be used in additional clinical testing or emergency use.
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