Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced it has created a coronavirus vaccine three hours after getting access to the virus’ genetic sequence in mid-January. Based in Pennsylvania, Inovio Pharmaceuticals said its scientists in its laboratory in San Diego made the discovery. Just like a regular flu vaccine, the CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals said the new vaccine is a preventive vaccine, and does not cure people who already have the virus.
In a similar discovery, scientists in the United Kingdom also announced they have developed a new coronavirus vaccine that they’ve started testing on mice, according to a report. Researchers at Imperial College London said they believe they’re the first to begin the animal testing phase as teams around the world compete to stop the spread of the virus, the Agence France-Presse reported.
“We were able to rapidly construct our vaccine in a matter of about three hours once we had the DNA sequence from the virus available because of the power of our DNA medicine platform,” Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio’s president and CEO, told FOX Business. “Our goal is to start phase one human testing in the U.S. early this summer.”
Inovio said it is now partnering with Beijing Advaccine, a Chinese company, to work on the vaccine. Inovio also received $9 million to work on the vaccine from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is backed by billionaire Bill Gates.
Cornovirus has killed more than 1000 people since the virus was first reported in Whuan city in China has reported. The number daily virus cases now spike to over 15,000 after new methodology was applied in the hardest-hit province of Hubei as to how cases are categorized. Inovio’s stock jumped to $5.32 a share a few days after the company announced it was selected to work on a coronavirus vaccine.
The American company is partnering with Beijing Advaccine, a Chinese company, to work on the vaccine. Inovio also received $9 million to work on the vaccine from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is backed by billionaire Bill Gates.
“We’ve done this many, many times before. The most relevant was building our vaccine against MERS virus, which is a coronavirus in the same family as COVID-19,” Kim said. Inovio took a vaccine for Zika virus from construct design to human testing in the U.S. in less than seven months, Kim said. “We’re planning to beat our own record,” he said. “Maybe we could do that in close to half that time.” Inovio is building a coalition for the “war” against COVID-19 that will require scaling up to thousands.