|Dr. Trevor Smith, who is the director of research and development at Inovio, said, "It's something we are trained to do, and the infrastructure is here and the expertise is in house."|
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
CORONAVIRUS / SAN DIEGO LAB CREATES PROMISING VACCINE; NOW IT HAS TO JUMP THROUGH THE TESTING HOOPS
According to CBS 8 reporter Neda Iranpour, the new drug is undergoing pre-clinical trials and approval is expected by summer.
If that seems slow, Inovio Pharmaceuticals says that six months would be a record for them to get a vaccine from creation to marketplace.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is no stranger to creating vaccines to help fight the Zika virus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and the vaccine for Ebola.
Dr. Trevor Smith, who is the director of research and development at Inovio, said, "It's something we are trained to do, and the infrastructure is here and the expertise is in house."
When Chinese scientists released the genetic sequence on Jan. 9, Inovio researchers got to work immediately and within 3 hours they had a vaccine for coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is now being referred to.
"We have an algorithm which we designed, and we put the DNA sequence into our algorithm and came up with the vaccine in that short amount of time," said Dr. Smith.
Tens of thousands in China have been quarantined and continue to suffer from the virus. That’s why scientists at Inovio Pharmaceuticals say they feel the sense of urgency to get the vaccine out.
The vaccine has been tested on mice and guinea pigs. It will next be tried on a group of human patients.
Scientists hope the vaccine will work as a piece of biological software. In other words, the vaccine will give the human body instructions to create the proper attack in the form of T-cells and antibodies against COVID-19.
If all goes as planned, the vaccine could be made available to the public by early this summer - which would be a record time frame for Inovio Pharmaceuticals.
Currently, an Inovio Pharmaceuticals lead researcher is in Sweden meeting with the World Health Organization to come up with the best plan of attack against COVID-19.