Tags: zika | vaccine | experiments | mice

Zika Vaccine Shows Results in Mice Experiments; Human Tests by End of Year?

Image: Zika Vaccine Shows Results in Mice Experiments; Human Tests by End of Year?
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito larvae are photographed at a laboratory of the Ministry of Health of El Salvador in San Salvador, February 7, 2016. (Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 09:12 AM

A Zika virus vaccine has shown promise in experiments on mice, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. said this week, adding that it hopes to move on to human tests by the end of the year.

Inovio's shares jumped 7 percent in premarket trading Wednesday on the news of a developing vaccine as the public concerns over the illness continue to grow, Reuters reported.

The World Health Organization said that more than 15 companies have contacted the agency about creating a Zika vaccine and about 20 are developing diagnostic tools, according to Bloomberg Business.

"Using our SynCon technology we rapidly generated a synthetic vaccine candidate that shows promise as a preventive and treatment," J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

"With robust antibody and killer T cell responses generated by our vaccine in mice, we will next test the vaccine in non-human primates and initiate clinical product manufacturing. We plan to initiate phase I human testing of our Zika vaccine before the end of 2016," Kim continued.

The Zika virus is transmitted via infected Aedes mosquitoes and symptoms include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, or headache, according to the World Health Organization.

Zika's suspected connection to microcephaly, a birth defect that leaves babies with smaller heads and possible brain development problems, has caused alarm in the medical community, according to the BBC News.

About 4,000 cases of microcephaly have been documented in Brazilian babies since the Zika outbreak, but the WHO stressed that the link has yet to be confirmed by scientific studies.

Reuters reported that some experts remain concerned about how safe a vaccine would be for pregnant women, who are most at risk.

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A Zika virus vaccine has shown promise in experiments on mice, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. said this week, adding that it hopes to move on to human tests by the end of the year.
zika, vaccine, experiments, mice
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2016-12-18
Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 09:12 AM
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