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Zika Vaccine Shows Promise In Early Clinical Trial

Zika Vaccine Shows Promise In Early Clinical Trial”

A DNA-based Zika vaccine from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc and South Korea's GeneOne Life Science Inc induced anti-Zika immune responses in an early stage human trial, US researchers reported on Wednesday. But progress on fighting Zika, which can cause awful birth defects in infected pregnant women, is always noteworthy-and the experimental treatment, GLS-5700, is a pretty unique vessel for combating the mosquito-borne virus that some researchers hope could surpass the more traditional approaches. Last November, the World Health Organization dropped the emergency designation, but stressed that the virus, found in at least 60 countries, will keep spreading where mosquitoes that carry the virus are present.

In a research carried out by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with The Wistar Institute, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and GeneOne Life Science, the vaccine candidate was shown to have minimal adverse effects.

The treatment differs from your everyday vaccine because it's synthetic.

Watkins and Dennis Burton, Ph.D., chairman and professor of the Department of Immunology & Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute, led the collaborative global study, "Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibodies Prevents Zika Virus Infection in Macaques", published recently in Science Translational Medicine.

"When we gave mice serum from the same people before they got the vaccine, they were not protected".

Researchers enrolled 40 participants in the safety trial between August and September a year ago.

According to Inovio, the phase 1 study saw the participants receiving GLS-5700 in a 1mg or 2mg dose by 0.1ml intradermal injections administered by the company's Cellectra 3P skin vaccine device.

Results from these screenings along with studies conducted by Roche showed the test is an effective way to screen donated blood for the virus. The vaccine was also well tolerated.

David Watkins, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for research, Department of Pathology, the lead author of the study stated: "This is a promising intervention to prevent and treat ZIKV infection during pregnancy". The virus is known to cause serious neurological disease in adults and birth defects, such as microcephaly.



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