Zika Vaccine Receives Nod for Testing in Humans

Inovio Pharmaceuticals and GeneOne Life Science Inc have received approval to begin a phase 1 human trial for a Zika vaccine.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals and GeneOne Life Science Inc have received approval to begin a phase 1 human trial for a Zika vaccine.

The trial will evaluate Inovia’s Zika DNA vaccine GLS-5700 to see if it can safely prevent infection from the virus.

The phase 1, open-label trial will involve 40 healthy subjects. In addition to safety, GLS-5700 will be tested for tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine administered with Cellectra, Inovio’s DNA delivery device.

“We are proud to have attained the approval to initiate the first Zika vaccine study in human volunteers,” said J. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio, in a press release. “As of May 2016, 58 countries and territories reported continuing mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus; the incidences of viral infection and medical conditions caused by the virus are expanding, not contracting. We plan to dose our first subjects in the next weeks and expect to report phase 1 interim results later this year.”

Inovio and GeneOne are developing the vaccine, in collaboration with academics from the United States and Canada.

Zika is mainly spread to humans through mosquitoes, and it can lead to symptoms like fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Individuals with Zika may give birth to children with a birth defect known as microcephaly.

“We look forward to conducting this trial with the goal of achieving products to combat this dreaded virus,” Young K. Park, GeneOne Life Science’s president and CEO, said in a press release.