On Tuesday morning, Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO) released interim data from a phase 1 clinical trial for INO-4800, its investigational vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This trial initially enrolled 40 participants between the ages of 18 and 50, but it was later amended to include older participants.
As an early-stage trial, the study is only looking for data about INO-4800’s safety and its immunogenicity — i.e, its ability to trigger the desired immune response in the body. (Note that three of the trial’s participants tested positive for COVID-19 at the study’s entry, indicating that they had contracted the virus prior to being enrolled in the study, and another left the trial for non-clinical reasons.)
The interim data from the trial found no serious safety concerns associated with the vaccine — it was “generally safe and well-tolerated.” However, participants experienced redness on the skin where the vaccine was administered. Importantly, 94% of them demonstrated an immune response six weeks after receiving the vaccine. Specifically, Inovio said that its potential vaccine has “the ability to generate balanced antibody and T cell immune responses.” (T cells are white blood cells that bind to and kill infected cells.) The biotech company plans to start a phase 2/3 clinical trial for INO-4800 later this summer, pending regulatory approval.