A potential COVID-19 vaccine from Inovio Pharmaceuticals began Phase 1 clinical testing in humans on Monday, after testing in animals showed promising immune responses and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted the company's Investigational New Drug application.
Inovio's vaccine is the second coronavirus vaccine to begin clinical testing in humans. The other, made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., began human testing in March.
In the new phase of the study, 40 volunteers in Philadelphia and Kansas City will receive two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart.
Inovio's vaccine candidate employs a DNA technology. Many similar vaccines have been developed and tested in clinical trials, but none have yet to be approved for widespread use.
With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as funding from other organizations, Inovio plans to have one million doses of the vaccine available by the end of the year for additional trials and emergency use, according to a press release. Despite the company's rapid progression into clinical trials — and assuming the clinical trials are successful — it will likely be over a year until a vaccine is widely available.