Inovio and partners make progress with MERS vaccine

Inovio and partners make progress with MERS vaccine | Courtesy of
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. and GeneOne Life Science Inc. have partnered to create Inovio’s Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) vaccine, and the two companies recently announced that they have filed an Investigational New Drug Application for GLS-5300 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The two companies plan to advance to a Phase I clinical trial for the MERS vaccine before the end of 2015. The trial would involve healthy volunteers.

MERS, which is caused by a coronavirus, is related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). More than a decade ago, SARS infected more than 8,000 people, killing 10 percent of them.

There is not a vaccine or treatment for MERS available on the market. More than 1,500 people have contracted MERS since 2012; approximately 600 of these people have died from the illness. Outside Saudi Arabia, the largest and most recent outbreak involved 186 people in South Korea, where 36 people died.

"We are moving rapidly from achieving complete protection from MERS in monkey studies to our goals of obtaining safety data from a phase I trial and regulatory approval,” Inovio President and CEO Joseph Kim said.

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