U.S. Army scientists have launched a phase 1 clinical trial of an experimental vaccine against the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, DoD News reported Feb. 17.
Cheryl Pellerin writes researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research will administer the GLS-5300 vaccine in 75 trial participants at the institute’s clinical trial facility in Maryland.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals and GeneOne Life Science teamed up to develop the DNA vaccine candidate against MERS coronavirus.
“One of the benefits of a DNA vaccine is that you don’t need any kind of culture system, like eggs, and you can produce it very quickly,” said Kayvon Modjarrad, the trial’s lead investigator and associate director for the emerging infectious disease research program at WRAIR.
Modjarrad told DoD News that the vaccine candidate could be used by the Defense Department as a countermeasure in an effort to protect U.S. service personnel in the Middle East against the virus.
MERS is a severe respiratory condition that has infected over 1,600 individuals since its discovery in Saudi Arabia in 2012.