COVID-19 Vaccine Prototype Enters into Human Testing

The whole world is working on discovering a vaccine for COVID-19. Almost every day, a different attempt is being taken aiming to find a cure. Recently, a new candidate for the COVID-19 vaccine has come into the limelight. A pharmaceutical institute, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, is working on this new drug program. After receiving permission from the USA Food & Drug Administration, the institution has started testing this vaccine prototype on a volunteer test subject. Before, various tests have been performed on animals, and they all have shown a very promising response.

This new vaccine is a plasmid which has been engineered specially to produce specifically targeted antibody to eliminate the specific virus. Such vaccines are called DNA vaccines. DNA vaccines were not approved for human use before. This is the first time in history; a DNA vaccine has been advanced to acquire human testing approval. Specialists are expecting an optimistic outcome from it.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has worked on DNA vaccines before for the MERS virus. The vaccine was quite successful in producing antibodies and fighting off the disease for an extended period of time.

Now, this prior experience has enabled Inovio to develop and produce a new prototype on a large scale and complete its Phase-1 and Phase-2 trials. Moreover, the institute has acknowledged the support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Apart from the foundation, many other organizations and nonprofits have helped form the fund. The authorities informed that the vaccine is waiting for its clinical trials and if successful, the institute will make a million doses ready for additional and potential emergency use by the end of the year. For a broad clearance, it may take at least 12 to 18 months.

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Shahina Khatun

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