Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced today that in Phase I trials 94% of participants demonstrated overall immune responses.
No other data was provided on the efficacy of the potential vaccine, with the biotech stating that it would publish the full data set in a peer-reviewed medical journal in the future.
In terms of the additional details, the biotech outlined that 40 adult volunteers were included in the trials that took place across two US sites, with funding provided by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness.
As a result of the studies, the vaccine candidate, INO-4800, was considered ‘generally safe’ and ‘well-tolerated’ in all participants.
The next step for the company is to begin Phase II/III trials in July or August, Inovio stated, while a Phase I would be expanded to include older participants.
US government support
Today, the company chose to announce that INO-4800 is being support by ‘Operation Warp Speed’, though not in human clinical trials but in non-human primate studies.
Last week, Inovio revealed that it had received $71m (€63m) in funding from the US Department of Defense for the large-scale manufacture of the company’s proprietary delivery devices for the vaccine.
Inovio plans to use the Cellectra 3PSP device to deliver INO-4800 directly into the skin. According to the company, the device has already been used to deliver DNA medicines to more than 2,000 patients in clinical trials.
Controversy rumbles on
With Inovio working on a vaccine against COVID-19, the company has attracted a lot of attention – which included a critical report by Citron Research, led by private investor, Andrew Left.
In the report, Citron Research called into question the biotech’s ability to create a vaccine against COVID-19 in the speed it had claimed.
The controversy continued after this, this time as Inovio launched a lawsuit against its own contract manufacturer, claiming that VGXI had breached their agreed contract.