(NewsReady.com) – Researchers are scrambling to develop a cure for COVID-19 as quickly as possible to mitigate any further damage caused by the pandemic. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) made a deal with the government to produce one billion doses of a vaccine whenever there is one. Currently, J&J is working on its own potential vaccination that may be ready for human testing later this year.
Another company has begun testing a potential vaccine, as well. Inovio Pharmaceuticals is now doing live testing on a small group of volunteers located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Kansas City, Missouri.
Today we initiated Phase 1 clinical testing of our #COVID19 DNA vaccine INO-4800. Up to 40 healthy volunteers will participate at two locations. Read more about this significant step forward in the global fight against COVID-19: https://t.co/jtGyjvDPwC #DNAMedicines #DNAVaccines pic.twitter.com/ivQTEdYjOM
— INOVIO Pharmaceuticals (@InovioPharma) April 6, 2020
Volunteers in the Inovio trial will get two vaccine doses with four weeks between each dose. The company expects to have early data regarding the safety of INO-4800 by late summer. If the results look good, they’ll start another study to determine its effectiveness against the coronavirus.
If all goes well, the biotech company also plans to manufacture one million doses by the end of the year. Inovio Pharmaceuticals received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, in part, makes this early trial run possible. Still, any company that comes up with a successful vaccine will also have to deal with massive demand and must ramp up its manufacturing capabilities.
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