Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. has partnered with GeneOne Life Science Inc., an international developer and manufacturer of DNA vaccines and an equity interest of Inovio, to further advance Inovio’s DNA vaccine for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Coronavirus, which is closely related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus, causes MERS, which is a respiratory disease. MERS has a 40 percent death rate and there is no effective treatment or vaccine for the illness.
Inovio’s DNA vaccine is undergoing a Phase I clinical trial among healthy volunteer subjects to determine the tolerability, safety and immunogenicity of the DNA-based MERS vaccine developed by Inovio.
"Inovio has again utilized its SynCon platform to generate a synthetic DNA immunotherapy candidate, INO-4500, that shows promise for providing an effective shield or treatment where there is none,” President and CEO J. Joseph Kim said. “What's most impressive about our candidate vaccine is that it is designed with the goal to universally protect against multiple and newly emergent strains of MERS. In light of the rapid spread of the recent Ebola outbreak, we want to be proactive in assessing the immunogenicity and safety of our MERS immunotherapy and be prepared to advance this product against this deadly virus in a timely manner."