Clinical trials underway at Penn for potential COVID-19 vaccine

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Clinical trials are underway at the University of Pennsylvania for a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The FDA has given the green light for human trials. The first doses of the possible vaccine are being administered to healthy volunteers.

The drug was developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals in Plymouth Meeting. Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio president and CEO, said it will be tested on people at two sites: Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We're in the process of recruiting those 40 volunteers between Philadelphia and Kansas City,” he said.

Kim said the subjects will receive one dose of the vaccine, called INO-4800, and then another dose four weeks later. The object of the Phase I trial, he explained, is to make sure the drug doesn't cause any harmful side effects.

This is the second test of a possible COVID-19 vaccine in humans. The first one, involving a separate drug, started last week in Seattle, led by Massachusetts firm Moderna Incorporated. 

However, experts say even if the trials go well, a vaccine for the general population will not be available until next year.