Inovio Gets $71 Million from U.S. Defense Dept for COVID-19 Vaccine Device
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday it has received $71 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to scale up production of the company’s devices that are used to administer its experimental COVID-19 vaccine into the skin.
There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for the COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with governments, drugmakers and researchers working on about 100 vaccine programs.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, INOVIO's President and CEO, said, "INOVIO is very pleased to receive this significant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to continue our rapid scale-up capacity for our breakthrough DNA medicines delivery device CELLECTRA®. We look forward to working closely with DoD, JPEO-CBRND and JPL-CBRND-EB to provide much needed protection to DoD personnel and their families through development of a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19. This next generation smart device leverages the efficacy delivery and safety track record of an earlier version that has received CE mark certification and has been used in clinical trials to safely dose more than 2,000 patients in over 7,000 administrations of INOVIO's DNA medicines. The current DoD contract further supports INOVIO's large-scale production of devices and arrays to deliver potentially hundreds of millions of doses of INO-4800 next year to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic."
Experts predict that a safe and effective vaccine could take at least 12 to 18 months to develop.
Inovio, which began human testing of its vaccine in April, said it expects to report interim results from the trial later this month, and added that it would begin mid-stage trials this summer.
The DoD contract will support Inovio’s efforts to deliver potentially hundreds of millions of doses of its experimental vaccine next year.
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