SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

FDA approves first in-human study of MERS vaccine

Approval granted for first-in-human study of MERS vaccine | Courtesy of cdc.gov
A new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) vaccine developed by GeneOne Life Science Inc. and Inovio Pharmaceuticals has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin its first in-human clinical study.

GeneOne and Inovio, the co-developers of the vaccine, intend to launch their first human trial of the vaccine before 2015 ends. They will partner with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) to conduct the trial using WRAIR facilities.

MERS and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are caused by similar coronaviruses. More than a decade ago, there were over 8,000 people who contracted SARS, 10 percent of whom died. This emphasizes the importance of a MERS vaccine.

There is no suitable treatment or vaccine for MERS, and since the virus was found in 2012 it has caused more than 1,500 infections. Approximately 600 of those people died.

“We are moving rapidly with our partners to bring a MERS vaccine to medicine because there is no vaccine or treatment for this virulent virus that has triggered widespread outbreaks and deaths in the Middle East and more recently Korea,” GeneOne Chief Executive Officer Young K. Park said.

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