INOVIO, a biotechnology company, concentrated on bringing to the market, precisely designed DNA medicines to treat and protect people from infectious diseases, have announced West Africa’s first indigenous vaccine for Lassa fever.
The company disclosed that a Phase 1B clinical trial for INO-4500, its DNA vaccine candidate for Lassa fever began in Ghana on Wednesday.
Experts applauded the new development as the first participant received the dose of the vaccine.
The clinical trial makes history as the first to be conducted for a Lassa fever vaccine in West Africa. It is taking place at Accra’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
Professor Kwadwo Ansah Koram, Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana, described the trial as I see as a great opportunity to use the resources of the Institute for the benefit not only of the country but the sub-region at large.
“We are grateful to the sponsor, INOVIO pharmaceuticals, and hope that this will be only the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration in the fight against infectious diseases,” he said.
INOVIO is advancing INO-4500 with full funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global partnership that leverages funding from public, private, philanthropic and civil society organizations to support research projects to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.
INOVIO’s president, Joesph Kim said, “We have already observed that INO-4500 vaccination generates robust antibody and T cell immune responses in a Phase 1 clinical trial conducted in the U.S., and this continued advancement of INO-4500 into Phase 1B trial is another important step in a fight against Lassa fever.
“This trial also represents a significant advancement within INOVIO’s infectious disease portfolio and further validates the company’s DNA medicines platform and proprietary CELLECTRA® delivery device. This is the same device being used to deliver our DNA vaccine candidate, INO-4800, in the Phase 2 segment of our INNOVATE Phase 2/3 COVID-19 trial.
“We are grateful to CEPI for the continued support and confidence in our vaccine programs – and we look forward to advancing INO-4500 as a vaccine candidate against Lassa fever.”