View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
August 5, 2021

Inovio starts dosing in Phase II trial of DNA vaccine for MERS

The trial, being carried out in Jordan and Lebanon, is intended to support the company in developing the first MERS vaccine.

Inovio has dosed the first participants in Phase II clinical trial of its deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) vaccine candidate, INO-4700, to prevent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The company noted that MERS is an infectious disease caused by a type of coronavirus that is 100 times fatal compared with Covid-19 and lethal to 34% of the infected patients.

The multi-centre, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase II trial will assess the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of INO-4700 given using Inovio’s Cellectra 2000 device.

Cellectra is a handheld smart device designed to intramuscularly or intradermally deliver plasmids directly into cells.

The Phase II trial, which will involve nearly 500 healthy adults, is being performed at centres in Jordan and Lebanon where the incidence of MERS is identified.

It is sponsored by the company and funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The latest trial comes after positive data were obtained in the first-in-human open-label, single-arm, dose-escalation Phase I trial.

Results showed high binding antibody levels in 92% of participants assessed. Additionally, substantial antigen-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses were reported.

Notably, 98% of participants inoculated with INO-4700 produced an antibody and/or T cell response against the vaccine, Inovio said.

Inovio president and CEO Dr Joseph Kim said: “This advancement not only complements our late-stage efforts with Covid-19, but it also represents an important milestone for Inovio’s infectious disease platform.

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with CEPI and moving another step closer to providing patients with a safe and effective preventive vaccine against MERS.”

First detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012, the MERS virus later spread to a total of 27 countries but currently lacks approved vaccines and therapies.

Inovio’s MERS vaccine research is financed by a previous $56m CEPI grant. The company is using these funds to conduct Phase II field trials of two vaccine candidates against MERS and Lassa fever, respectively.

The company and CEPI intend to generate a stockpile of these vaccine candidates for emergency use soon after Phase II evaluation.

In June 2021, Inovio started a global Phase III segment of the ongoing Phase II/III INNOVATE trial of its Covid-19 DNA vaccine candidate, INO-4800.

Related Companies

Free Whitepaper

Unlocking the clinical trial potential of Africa

Ongoing improvements around infrastructure, continued investment, and being home to one of the world’s largest working age populations, means that Africa’s role in the clinical trials market has transformed. In this whitepaper, Oximio outlines the dynamics of today’s clinical trial market in Africa, including the key challenges the region is facing and how sponsors can overcome them to unlock the continent’s growing potential.
by Oximio
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Key drug pipeline and competitive landscape changes based on the latest clinical activity, sent every Tuesday. Curated analysis and data-driven insights on clinical trials strategy and operations, sent every Thursday. The pharmaceutical industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy