02.17.20 - A Pennsylvania based biotech company Inovio Pharmaceuticals says it created a coronavirus vaccine three hours after getting access to the virus' genetic sequence on Jan. 9 in it’s San Deigo laboratory, and now scientists are racing to get the vaccine on the market in record time.
"We have an algorithm which we designed, and we put the DNA sequence into our algorithm and came up with the vaccine in that short amount of time," Inovio's research and development director Dr. Trevor Smith told KVUE.
"Inovio's participation in this developing effort is based on the ideal suitability of its DNA medicine platform to rapidly develop vaccines against emerging viruses with pandemic potential, proven vaccine development capabilities, and a strong track record of rapidly generating promising countermeasures against previous pandemic threats," the company said in a statement on Jan. 30. "Inovio was the first to advance its vaccine (INO-4700) against MERS-CoV, a related coronavirus, into evaluation in humans."
Maryland-based Novavax is also aiming to make a coronavirus vaccine in as little as three months, although such vaccines can take years to develop. The company synthesized an Ebola vaccine in 90 days.