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Zika vaccine shows promise in early human trial

Zika vaccine shows promise in early human trial
From Reuters - October 4, 2017

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A DNA-based Zika vaccine from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc and South Koreas GeneOne Life Science Inc induced anti-Zika immune responses in an early stage human trial, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

Unlike conventional vaccines, which often use inactivated or killed versions of a virus, the Inovio-GeneOne shot is a synthetic vaccine made by reproducing sections of the Zika virus genome in a lab, and then loading them onto a ring of genetic material called a plasmid.

This vaccine is then injected beneath the skin and followed up with a device that generates electrical impulses, creating small pores in cells that allow the DNA to pass into cells.

After three doses of the Zika vaccine known as GLS-5700, all 40 healthy volunteers in the study developed Zika-specific antibodies.

Everybody made antibodies, said Dr. Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania who led the study.

To see if these antibodies could be protective against the virus, blood from immunized study participants was injected into mice who were then exposed to Zika. Animals that had received the Zika-specific antibodies were protected.

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