San Diego company Inovio initiates phase 1 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine with first dose

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Imagine being able to go to your doctor’s office or another healthcare provider and being able to get a simple vaccine for COVID-19. Inovio, a San Diego biotech company is now one step closer to realizing that goal.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration gave Inovio approval to begin the first phase of tests on people to see how well the vaccine developed by the company will work.  It’s been a fast track to the start of these clinical trials In January, Chinese scientists shared the genetic sequencing for the novel Coronavirus.

Using the tools of DNA medicine, Inovio scientists used a computer algorithm to come up with a DNA sequence. The next step was taking bits of that DNA to inject into cells which then stimulates an immune response.

How long did this take in the lab? Kate Broderick, the company’s senior vice president for research says her team was able to come up with a model for the vaccine in three hours and get to the very first test on a person in just 83 days. 40 healthy adults at test sites in Philadelphia and Kansas City Missouri have volunteered for the first stage of these research tests.

Broderick said a second phase will follow with more human trials by the fall.

Inovio hopes to be able to produce about 1 million doses of vaccine at the end of the year.  With more approvals needed,  the vaccine could be on the market in about 18 months.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News