INOVIO Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) Partners With IVI To Commence COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials In South Korea

INOVIO Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO), Seoul National University Hospital, and International Vaccine Institute (IVI) have announced a partnership to commence Phase 1/2 clinical study COVID-19 INO-4800 vaccine.

INOVIO enters partnership to commence INO-4800 trials in South Korea

The parties signed the partnership at a ceremony at SNU Hospital in South Korea. The two-stage study of INO-4800, which is the first COVID-19 clinical study in South Korea will evaluate tolerability, immunogenicity, and safety of the vaccine candidate. The study will enroll 40 healthy participants between 19 and 50 years before expanding to incorporate another 120 participants aged between 19 years and 64 years.

The clinical trial is expected to commence later this month, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness innovations (CEPI) will fund it through INOVIO. Korea National Institute of Health and the Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also support the trial. Normally it would take years to commence trials of a vaccine, but in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the trials have been accelerated. The trials in South Koreas will be carried in two months following a similar trial in the US at the beginning of April.

IVI Director General Jerome Kim indicated that they were delighted to begin clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate in partnership with SNU Hospitals.

INOVIO files suit against suppliers over COVID-19 vaccine methods

The company has started legal proceedings against suppliers regarding the production of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is an emergency action seeking the transfer of tech necessary for the expected large scale manufacture of the coronavirus vaccine candidate. The company is optimistic to produce over a million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year with the current contract resources and capacity for more clinical trials.

To achieve its goals, the company filed a suit in Pennsylvania compelling GeneOne Life Sciences and VGXI Inc. to facilitate transferring the manufacturing methods to INOVIO’s new contract manufacturers. Under the Supply Agreement, VGXI is expected to produce and supply DNA plasmids for research and early clinical studies for the vaccine candidate.