Inovio shares rally after biotech says human trials of coronavirus vaccine will start in April - (MarketWatch via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals gained more than 16% after the company said it is accelerating the timeline for developing its INO-4800 vaccine to treat CO VID-19 and expects to start clinical trials in the US next month, reported MarketWatch.

  • CEO J. Joseph Kim told the US Coronavirus Task Force meeting at the White House earlier this week that the company designed INO-4800 on January 10 in three hours after the publication of the virus' genetic sequence.

  • "We immediately began preclinical testing and small-scale manufacture and have already shared robust preclinical data with our public and private partners," Kim said.

  • He added "we plan to begin human clinical trials in the U.S. in April and soon thereafter in China and South Korea, where the outbreak is impacting the most people."

  • Inovio is expecting to deliver 1 million doses of vaccine by year-end, using its existing resources, but will need additional resources to scale up to provide further amounts.

  • The company has finalized the designs for clinical trials and has developed large-scale manufacturing plans. Specifically, it is planning to launch trials in the US in 30 healthy volunteers and expects to publish the first results by fall.

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