Results are in from the first phase 1 clinical trial for a Zika vaccine, and they are very promising. A new generation DNA-based Zika vaccine, developed by Wistar scientists in collaboration with Inovio Pharmaceuticals and GeneOne Life Science, was found to be safe and well tolerated by all study participants and was able to elicit an immune response against Zika, opening the door to further and larger trials to move this vaccine forward. “The Wistar Institute has been a leading developer of vaccines for the protection of children and families for decades,” said David B. Weiner, Ph.D., executive vice president of The Wistar Institute and director of Wistar’s Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, who spearheaded the research team that developed the vaccine. “In light of Wistar’s history of vaccine creation and the work taking place in my lab and with collaborators, we hope to create a vaccine that will benefit humankind.” Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection associated with birth defects and neurological complications in adults, for which no approved vaccine or treatment is currently available. In the fall of 2015, after news of global Zika outbreaks was reported in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and many South American countries, Dr. Weiner and his collaborators got to work and put in place a plan to develop reagents, animal models, assays and potential vaccine candidates for initial testing. The team had developed a new synthetic DNA-based vaccine technology that can be applied to a variety of infectious diseases and they set to implement this resource for the development of a Zika vaccine. The results of their combined efforts was GLS-5700, a DNA vaccine that contains the DNA instructions for the host to learn how to mount an immune response against a specific Zika virus antigen. DNA-based vaccines brought about a revolution in vaccine research because they are much faster to develop and implement than traditional vaccines, which take several years from the start to the first tests. Weiner and his team were able create the Zika vaccine candidate in just about six months. After it proved safe and effective in pre-clinical trials, the vaccine received FDA approval for clinical testing in June 2016, and participants were enrolled in the phase 1 trial between August and September.See it on Scoop.it, via Viruses and Bioinformatics from Virology.uvic.ca
Zika DNA Vaccine Proven Safe 
Source: Viral Bioinformatics

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