Pandemic Could Mark Turning Point for Plymouth-based Inovio’s DNA Vaccine Technology

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The Food and Drug Administration has placed a clinical hold on Plymouth Meeting-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ COVID-19 vaccine. Image via Monica Herndon of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The coronavirus pandemic could mark a turning point for DNA vaccine technology that has been three decades in the making and is currently being developed by Plymouth Meeting-based Inovio, writes Marie McCullough for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

David B. Weiner, known as “the father of DNA vaccines” in scientific circles, co-founded Inovio and is also its adviser.

While no human DNA vaccine has yet made it to market, the technology is rapidly evolving and Inovio is a strong front-runner in the global race to develop an immunization against COVID-19.

The company is expected to announce the results of its first human trial of the vaccine candidate, INO-4800, this week. And while the initial testing is focusing on safety, the bigger question now is whether the vaccine will generate signs of a potent immune response.

For Weiner, getting a vaccine approved will help manage expectations.

“I think we should set our expectations low,” he said. “I really think we’re most likely to have several vaccines, and that they will lower disease severity and prevent some infections. It doesn’t have to be 100% effective to have enormous value for the world.”

Read more about DNA vaccine technology at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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