PharmaJet has started the first human clinical trial for a vaccine against Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), using its Precision Delivery Systems for administration.

Sponsored by PharmaJet, the Phase I trial intends to determine the most suitable vaccination schedule, optimal dose and delivery system for use in subsequent wider clinical assessments of the VEE DNA vaccine candidate.

The vaccine candidate is under assessment as part of a multi-year agreement between the company and the Joint Science and Technology Office of the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

Conducted in partnership with USAMRIID, the trial aims to enhance vaccine evaluation using PharmaJet Precision Delivery Systems, Stratis Intramuscular (IM) and Tropis Intradermal (ID).

Compatible with military operations and the warfighter environment, the PharmaJet Systems effectively delivers nucleic acid-based vaccines.

PharmaJet president and CEO Chris Cappello said: “The PharmaJet Precision Delivery Systems are optimised for field use and have also shown immunogenicity levels higher than with needle-syringe.

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“We look forward to the clinical results from the human trial of this promising DNA vaccine candidate with our commercially available needle-free precision delivery systems.”

The VEE virus is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that has resulted in sporadic outbreaks and epidemics in North, Central, and South America.

USAMRIID and PharmaJet have already conducted a study in non-human primates (NHP).

It was observed that a prime and single boost by either the IM or ID route resulted in humoral and cellular immune responses that offered protection against viremia and VEEV disease.