Testing is underway in Kansas City, Missouri, for an experimental coronavirus vaccine. Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a health innovation company, is partnering with The Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City to test the vaccine on healthy individuals in Missouri. The trial began in early April.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with other nonprofits, have poured funding into Inovio’s vaccine project. The biotech expects to have early safety data by late summer and is aiming to produce 1 million doses by the end of 2020.
Anthony Fauci, the longtime leader of the National Institutes of Health’s infectious disease unit, has stated it will take at least a year to know if any vaccine is safe and effective against the virus. For the study of Inovio’s vaccine, the company is enrolling 40 healthy adult participants in Kansas City and Philadelphia.
Each volunteer will receive two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart. Inovio expects safety results by late summer. If the results are positive, the company will quickly start another study focused on assessing the vaccine’s efficacy against the virus.
Inovio is also scaling up its production capabilities and is aiming to have 1 million doses available by the end of 2020. These doses could be used in additional clinical trials or emergency use.