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Inovio’s coronavirus vaccine, funded by Bill Gates, begins human trials

Published on 07/04/20 at 12:31pm
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II

Inovio’s coronavirus vaccine has entered human trials after the FDA approved its application to begin them under the Investigational New Drug program. The research has been partly funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The FDA approval comes after promising results in animal testing. The INO-4800 DNA vaccine began being used in trials on Monday, with 40 volunteers receiving their first dose, which will be followed by a second in four weeks’ time.

The Phase I clinical trial is to establish the treatments safety and the immunogenicity of the vaccine. The Phase II trial will test its effectiveness in combating COVID-19.

Inovio has manufactured thousands of doses of their vaccine to support the upcoming trials. The company is far ahead of the competition in getting a working vaccine into circulation, and a spokesperson for the company said that a vaccine had been developed three hours after the release of the viral sequence of SARS-CoV-2 on 10 January.

Depending on the trials success, the company could have millions of doses ready by the end of the year for further testing or emergency treatments. However, regulatory approval will likely take another 12 to 18 months.

As well as the funding from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the company also received finances from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The CEPI have also giving funding to five other potential vaccines.

Conor Kavanagh

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