GeneOne, Inovio team up to develop vaccine for Zika virus

GeneOne Life Science and Inovio Pharmaceuticals have teamed up to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus.

GeneOne Life Science has teamed up with Inovio Pharmaceuticals to further develop a vaccine that is based on DNA. 

The vaccine will be used to combat the Zika virus, which is hitting several Latin American countries.

“We are moving rapidly with Inovio and our academic collaborators to test a vaccine for this fast-spreading viral disease causing major birth defects in newborns,” GeneOne Life Science CEO Young Park said. “We aim to be on the front line of defense against major emerging infectious disease such as Ebola, MERS and now the Zika virus.”

The two companies will work on the collaborative project -- which will also see them test the vaccine -- while continuing to advance it. Inovio has worked on vaccines in the past for such viruses as dengue, chikungunya and West Nile. Currently, the vaccine for the Zika virus is going through a pre-clinical animal study, which should help researchers understand the vaccine’s immunogenicity.

Zika is in the family of viruses that includes West Nile, yellow fever and dengue. All of these viruses are introduced through a mosquito bite. Mosquitos that carry Zika are also known to carry dengue and chikungunya.

Symptoms of Zika include rash, fever and joint pain, in addition to conjunctivitis.

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