China Partners With Pennsylvania Company to Produce 2019-nCoV Vaccine

Inovio INO-4800 vaccine candidate against 2019nCoV to be co-developed in China
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Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Co. announced a collaboration with Pennsylvania-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to advance the development in China of the INO-4800 vaccine candidate, which is targeted against the novel coronavirus named 2019-nCoV.

Announced in a press release on January 30, 2020, the goal of this collaboration is to leverage Advaccine's expertise to conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial in China in parallel with Inovio's 2019-nCoV development efforts in the USA.

Inovio and Advaccine will also work together to attract additional grant funding and further collaborations with larger vaccine companies in China to increase the speed of future testing of the INO-4800 vaccine candidate.

This is important news since China’s National Health Committees reported 7,830 confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV virus, with 12,139 suspected cases and 170 related fatalities, as of January 30, 2020.

Previously, Inovio announced that it is developing INO-4800 through Phase 1 human testing in the U.S. to evaluate safety and immunogenicity with the support of an initial grant up to $9 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Inovio commented ‘it has already started preclinical testing and preparations for clinical product manufacturing.’

Inovio said it was ‘the first to advance its vaccine candidate (INO-4700) against the coronavirus MERS-CoV, into evaluation in humans.’ 

Inovio is currently preparing to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial for INO-4700 in the Middle East where most MERS viral outbreaks have occurred. Those efforts are supported by CEPI funding and partnership.

Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's President & CEO, said in the press release, “Our shared goal is to utilize both company's expertise in developing vaccines for emerging infectious diseases and hopefully achieve an accelerated regulatory approval for INO-4800."

In a recently published paper in Lancet Infectious Diseases, Inovio's Phase 1 study of INO-4700, its MERS-CoV vaccine, demonstrated it was well-tolerated and furthermore induced high levels of antibody responses in approximately 95% of subjects, while also generating broad-based T cell responses in nearly 90% of study participants. 

Durable antibody responses to INO-4700 were also maintained through 60 weeks following dosing.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronaviruses that infect animals can also evolve and become a human coronavirus, such as MERS.

Inovio's other collaborators in this coronavirus vaccine development include the Wistar Institute and VGXI, a fully owned subsidiary of GeneOne Life Science.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on rapidly bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines to treat, cure and/or protect people from diseases associated with HPV, cancer, and infectious diseases. 

Coronavirus vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations.