Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO) Says DNA Vaccine Protects 100% Against Deadly MERS Virus in Non-Human Primates


Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO), a company that develops deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) immunotherapies and vaccines, reported Wednesday that its DNA vaccine targeting the virulent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) induced 100% protection from a live virus challenge in a preclinical study. The company said that the medical advancement is notable because there is no vaccine or effective treatment for the MERS virus, which is clearly able to transmit from human to human.

In preclinical studies, Inovio and its collaborators evaluated its synthetic DNA-based MERS vaccine in mice, camels and monkeys, or non-human primates. In all three species, the vaccine induced robust immune responses capable of preventing the virus from infecting cells.

Under a previously announced collaboration agreement with biopharmaceutical company GeneOne Life Science Inc., Inovio’s MERS vaccine product will advance into a clinical trial in healthy volunteers in Q4 of this year. GeneOne will fund and conduct a phase I trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO) shares are up 1.2% at $7.53 in Wednesday’s afternoon trade, with a 52-week range of $6.33 – $13.04.

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