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INOVIO's COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Shows Long-term Protection In Non-human Study

U.S biotech firm INOVIO (INO) said Thursday that its COVID-19 DNA vaccine INO-4800 targeting SARS-CoV-2 was effective in protecting non-human primates from live virus challenge 13 weeks after the last vaccination. The study has demonstrated long-term protection in non-human primates challenged with SARS-CoV-2 virus 13 weeks from vaccination.

The protective results were mediated by memory T and B cell immune responses from INO-4800 vaccination.

The company said that results demonstrated that INO-4800 reduced viral load in both the lower lungs and nasal passages in macaques that received two doses of INO-4800 (1 mg) four weeks apart and then were challenged with live virus 13 weeks after the second dose.

The reduced viral loads following exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection at this timeframe demonstrate an important durable impact mediated by INO-4800.

INO-4800-treated animals demonstrated seroconversion after a single vaccination, with protective neutralizing antibodies and T cells lasting in their blood more than four months after the initial dose.

The antibody levels were similar to or greater than those seen in patients who have recovered from COVID-19, the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2, and the T cell responses were significantly higher than those from convalescent patients.

B cells are responsible for producing the antibodies that recognize SARS-CoV-2, while T cells play a role in killing the virally infected cells as well as supporting the B cell response.

The company stated that the published data supported that immunization with INO-4800 limits active viral replication and has the potential to reduce severity of disease, as well as reduced viral shedding in the nasal cavity.

A separate NHP study evaluating the durability of INO-4800 at 12 months after vaccination is currently under way. INO-4800 also has been selected by U.S. Operation Warp Speed for its COVID-19 non-human primate challenge study.

Last month, the U.S. biotech company reported encouraging results in an early-stage human trial for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

In Thursday regular trading, INO was trading at $21.64 up $2.16 or 11.09 percent.

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