A leader in vaccine design, development, and distribution, Inovio Biomedical Corporation, informed that its SynCon™ Chikungunya virus DNA vaccine generated protective neutralizing antibody responses in a monkey model.

The Chikungunya virus is a new alphavirus carried by mosquitoes that originated in tropical Africa and Asia.  It has been known to have an infection rate of up to 45%.  Although not life-threatening, this virus causes acute human morbidity, presenting serious fever and weakening joint pain, and it could take over a year to cure.

It has been discovered that different mosquitoes normally found in developed countries, including Europe and the United States, can transmit the Chikungunya virus, making it a threat for people in other geographies outside its territories of origin.  The virus is already prevalent in several world regions and clearly has epidemic potential.

Currently, there are no vaccines in the market to treat this virus.  The truth is that very little is known about the disease, including the mechanism of viral clearance based on immunity and why it causes clinical symptoms.  Thinking about the potential the Chikungunya virus has for spreading disease globally, it is crucial to understand its pathogenic mechanism and to develop effective treatment alternatives.

Inovio used its SynCon™ approach to create a Chikungunya virus DNA vaccine that is delivered as a single DNA plasmid construct including harmonious sequences of key surfaces antigens.  Its design is based on the alignment of various primary sequences of key surface antigens and on the selection of the most common amino acid or base pair at each site.

In the study with money models, the entirety of the sample that was vaccinated developed protective neutralizing antibody responses against the original virus, demonstrating the vaccine’s effectiveness in a preclinical model.  This data presents solid evidence highlighting the likelihood of near-term future human clinical progress.

Inovio’s new SynCon™ technology allows them to design DNA-based vaccines that can protect against known or unknown pathogen strains.  It can synthetically define antigens and gene sequences that are common between different viral subtypes or families of diseases like HIV, HCV, HPV, and influenza.

This company recently disclosed provisional information regarding a Phase I therapeutic HPV/cervical cancer vaccine test that showed important and strong immune responses from T-cells and antibodies, highlighting the possible broad use of its DNA vaccine technology platform and application to various diseases, among which is the Chikungunya virus.

This is a clear example of how pharma companies and pharmaceutical consultants who are on top of things win the race on innovation and market trust.

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