MONDAY, JULY 16, 2018

DNA vaccine protects non-human primates against MERS virus

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) recently announced that its new DNA vaccine has shown successful results in protecting non-human primates from the deadly, virulent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The DNA vaccine, which works by targeting the virus, has shown a 100 percent protection inducement rate from its preclinical, live virus challenge study. The preclinical studies involved camels, mice and monkeys.

MERS is transmitted from person to person. An estimated 1,400 people have contracted MERS infections since 2012, and more than 500 people have died from the virus. There is currently no effective treatment nor vaccine for MERS.

The most recent and largest outbreak of MERS occurred in South Korea, where 186 people contracted the infections. It was the largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia.

"Once again, our data demonstrates we can rapidly turn our SynCon DNA-based immunotherapy platform to create innovative products with the potential to prevent and treat multiple infectious diseases and cancers,” Dr. J. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio, said. “In this preclinical study, our synthetic vaccine shows its capability to combat a disease for which there is no vaccine. We look forward to clinically testing this product as an effective shield against the deadly MERS virus."

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