Two pharmaceutical studies on the effects of the vaccine in a group of 40 volunteers.
US – United States gave the green light today to the first test of an experimental vaccine Zika virus in humans, a project of two pharmaceutical starting in the coming weeks with a group of 40 healthy volunteers.
“We are proud to have obtained approval to begin the first study of a vaccine of zika in humans,” according to a statement released by US pharmaceutical Inovio, responsible for testing by the South Korean company GeneOne Life Science.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the two companies first test of an experimental vaccine Zika virus in humans.
The vaccine, called “GLS-5700”, has been shown to induce effective antibody responses and T cells (responsible for coordinating the cellular immune response) in animal models and now they are moving to a new phase in which its effect will be tested in 40 healthy volunteers.
The study will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity (the ability of the immune system reacting to an antigen).
Inovio stated they plan to give the vaccine to their first volunteers in the coming weeks and hope to report interim results later this year.
Inovio and GeneOne developed this vaccine in collaboration with academics from the United States and Canada with which they previously worked on Ebola virus disease and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Other pharmaceutical and several academic labs are working overtime for months towards a vaccine zika, so the FDA is expected to grant new authorizations in the coming weeks or months.
The US National Institute of Diseases Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is also designing its own zika vaccine, whose human trials will begin in September as recently announced by its director, Anthony Fauci.
However, the expert warned that this is only a first test and it will not be until two or three years when they really know if it works.
On June 9, the Walter Reed Research Institute of the US Army announced that it is doing preclinical testing of a zika vaccine and it plans to start testing with humans before the end of the year.
Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the largest biomedical research center of the US Department of Defense, are working on the development of preclinical tests of a vaccine with experts from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently follow US Zika virus transmission in 39 countries and territories in Latin, in eight of Oceania and the Pacific Islands and in one of Cape Verde.
To date, CDC has detected in the United States more than 600 cases of zika, but so far has not confirmed any cases of local transmission in the country by the bite of the mosquito that transmits the virus.
WHO he declared last February 1 that congenital malformations (especially microcephaly) and neurological disorders (syndrome of Guillain-Barre syndrome) linked to the spread of zika constitute a public health emergency of international concern.
What is most alarming about the current outbreak of zika, which mainly affects Latin America and the Caribbean, is its link with microcephaly, a condition in which the head of babies or toddlers has a smaller than normal and may entail developmental problems.
The zika is a virus transmitted by the bite of Aedes vectors such as dengue and chikungunya mosquito, and whose symptoms are similar but milder rash, mild fever, aching muscles and joints.
Many people infected with zika not go to the doctor to have no symptoms or confuse these with those of a cold or flu, complicating tracking the virus by the health authorities.
For now, there is no vaccine or treatment against a virus that was discovered in the fifties of the last century in Uganda’s Zika, from which it takes its name.