The companies, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Pennsylvania, and GeneOne Life Science, Inc., based in South Korea, said that their DNA-based vaccine candidate, dubbed GLS-5700, will be given to 40 people in a phase I trail. The trial will start “in the next weeks,” the companies said, and could yield results later this year.
Inovio and GeneOne noted in their announcement that pre-clinical data from animal studies suggested that the vaccine could induce a strong immune response that might protect against mosquito-transmitted Zika. But, like all phase I trials, their upcoming human study will not test how effective the vaccine is at fighting off Zika virus, but rather its safety and appropriate dosage levels. If the DNA-based vaccine is found to be safe, it will then move on to larger trials on efficacy that will take years to complete.