Lassa Fever DNA Vaccine Candidate Advances
Pennsylvania-based INOVIO announced the first participant was dosed in a Phase 1B clinical trial for INO-4500, its DNA vaccine candidate for Lassa fever. The Phase 1B clinical trial ongoing at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra, Ghana, is the first vaccine clinical trial for Lassa fever to be conducted in West Africa, where the infection is endemic.
The company's press statement indicates INO-4500 is the first vaccine candidate for Lassa fever to enter human trials.
INOVIO is advancing INO-4500 with full funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). INOVIO previously received a $56 million grant from CEPI in 2018, under which the company is developing vaccine candidates for Lassa fever and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
Dr. Melanie Saville, Director of Vaccine R&D at CEPI, commented, "With the emerging infectious disease remaining a serious public health threat across West Africa, including Ghana, it is crucial that populations can participate in vaccine trials to ensure sufficient data is generated so that they can be confidently rolled out in outbreak-prone areas in the future, dependent on safety and immunogenicity testing."
"Together, this work plays into broader research efforts led by CEPI to minimize the threat of the disease."
INOVIO and CEPI are committed to making a vaccine available as soon as possible for emergency use as a stockpile product post-Phase 2 testing.
INOVIO is a biotechnology company focused on rapidly bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines to treat and protect people from infectious diseases.