In the race for the vaccine it is “very difficult to make promises”
Pharmaceutical Inovio was one of the first to start research work for a vaccine against Covid-19. In conversation with Plataforma, the American multinational is hopeful of a short-term solution.
7.5 billion humans are waiting for good news. And that good news, in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, includes the discovery of a vaccine to end a virus that has killed more than 300,000 people and infected about five million. The whole world is literally waiting. And many pharmaceutical companies have been working in this direction for months, some with more advances than others. One of these is Inovio, a North American pharmaceutical company that started the tests in January, and who, in conversation with Plataforma, revealed the advances in the vaccine, so expected and desired. The news is positive and encouraging, so much so that records have already been broken in terms of vaccine design.
Inovio’s laboratory in San Diego, California was one of the first to move forward with the development of the vaccine, and early in the year, pharmaceutical scientists pointed to the beginning of summer for testing on humans. INO-4800, the name given to the vaccine, however, started to be administered to humans earlier than expected and the first results are encouraging. As for the deadlines for its conclusion, these are not yet defined
“It is very difficult to make promises. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee success. However, at Inovio we are very confident, even due to the vast experience with our vaccine against MERS (another coronavirus that we also tested in humans) and the data we already have from animal tests with INO-4800 ”, stressed Inovio to Plataforma, now waiting for the first results in humans. “We started our Phase 1 study on April 6 and enrolled all 40 individuals in 17 days. We hope to obtain read-ahead data in the first weeks of June, ”they said.
At the moment, there are a total of “110 vaccines that are being tested worldwide”, of which only eight “have come a long way and entered clinical trials in humans”. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but there is a lot of hope, especially because on Inovio’s side there is no record of such rapid progress in any other vaccine.
“At Inovio, we are working tirelessly to achieve our goals as quickly as possible and we have already achieved enormous success in taking the vaccine, as we say, from the bank to bed (ie, to the clinic) in just 83 days. This is an unprecedented speed for us, we are optimistic ”, they pointed out.
A vaccine, called traditional, and in historical terms, “takes between three to 10 years to develop”. Laboratories looking to find a solution for Covid-19, however, know that this is an unprecedented pandemic in recent years, so they, too, are speeding up processes to cope with pressure from the public and even governments.
“We know that there is this pressure, that everyone wants a solution to the vaccine to be reached as soon as possible, but it also makes perfect sense due to the critical situation in which the pandemic has the world at this time. We believe that vaccine safety is paramount and that all checks and balances implemented by regulatory authorities are essential. However, there are processes and reviews that have been reduced to ensure a faster process for this vaccine ”, confided to Inovio.
Large-scale summer testing
Waiting for the first results in humans, Inovio is also projecting the immediate future of the vaccine, specifically the second phase of its tests, which are “on a large scale”. “If the results of the first phase are positive, as we are hoping they will be, we will use that same data to approach the FDA (Federal Agency for the United States Department of Health and Human Services) to move towards a large-scale study of the phase 2/3 this summer ”, they said, highlighting shortly afterwards what these“ large scale ”tests will be used for:
“Phase 1 studies assess the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, by performing blood tests on individuals. The later phase trials (Phase 2/3) will ask the question: “does the vaccine protect those infected from the virus or from contracting the disease?”.
Vaccine available to everyone at the same time
Another laboratory that is working on a solution for the vaccine is the French Sanofi. This pharmacist, however, has already caused some controversy a few weeks ago when she intended to give priority to the United States in the use of the vaccine. This idea, however, fell apart and that is also what defends Inovio, financed by Bill Gates, a vaccine for everyone and at the same time.
“First of all, we must be grateful to the program’s financiers, whose assistance was fundamental to the speed with which we were able to act. And like them, we are also committed to ensuring that our vaccine has global access. In fact, we are even expanding our production network to ensure that it is produced not only in the US but worldwide.