By Jill Drachenberg, Managing Editor, AHC Media

A Pennsylvania pharmaceutical company has the go-ahead from the FDA to begin a first-in-human clinical trial on its new Zika vaccine. 

The vaccine, called GLS-5700, will begin the Phase I clinical trial in 40 human subjects within the next several weeks. Phase I trials typically test for drug safety and tolerance in patients, but the vaccine trial also will measure immune responses the vaccine produces. According to drug maker Inovio Pharmaceuticals and development partner GeneOne Life Sciences of South Korea, GLS-5700 produced “robust” T-cell and antibody responses in preclinical animal model testing. 

Inovio and GeneOne expect to report the trial results by the end of this year. NIH researchers also are working on a Zika vaccine and expect Phase I testing to begin this fall.

The July issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention features a pair of items about Zika: one on the World Health Organization’s debate about the effect of Zika on the Olympics in Brazil and another about more widespread availability of Zika tests.

For all the latest AHC Media coverage of the Zika crisis, please visit reliasmedia.com/Zika.