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Inovio has reported results from a study with non-human primates that showed 100% effectiveness with a DNA vaccine the company is developing with the US Army.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, an immunotherapy company, announced results on Oct. 24, 2017 from a study conducted on a DNA vaccine for the Lassa fever virus, a virulent hemorrhagic virus similar to Ebola, that the company is developing in partnership with the US Army. The study results showed that the DNA vaccine provided 100% protection for non-human primates challenged with a lethal dose of the virus. The study was funded by a previously awarded $3.5-million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Inovio is collaborating with Dr. Connie Schmaljohn, chief scientist at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, and her group in a public/private partnership that aims to develop vaccines that would facilitate rapid vaccination of US troops stationed around the world. Lassa fever is an acute disease infecting up to 300,000 people annually. Infections occur mostly in Central and West Africa regions.
The disease is not only a major health threat in Africa, however, but is also a worldwide threat due to rapid and wide global travel and commerce. The Lassa virus was selected in 2017 as one of the top potential global epidemic targets for new vaccine development by the newly-formed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative, launched in January 2017.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's president and CEO, said in a company press release, “Inovio demonstrates our full commitment to global public health in this innovative public/private partnership against a virulent virus with pandemic and bioterror potential. Our DNA-based platform is especially well-suited to rapidly respond to viral outbreaks and newly emerging pathogens due to its safety profile, ease and speed of development and manufacturing as well as the ability to be shipped and stored without a cold-chain environment.”
Source: Inovio Pharmaceuticals