Plymouth Meeting company Inovio reports positive results from first COVID-19 vaccine trial

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A local bio-tech company has been selected as one of 14 companies for the government's "Operation Warp Speed" - the initiative driving researchers to develop a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.

Inovio pharmaceuticals, which is based in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, is also reporting positive results from its phase one trial, testing their experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

The trial included more than 40 healthy volunteers and expanded to include older volunteers. That's something other trials have been lacking, but is crucial seeing as COVID-19 hits people harder as they get up in age.

Inovio CEO Joseph Kim continues to be optimistic.

"What I can say generally is so far, so good. We demonstrated the vaccine is safe. We also found the vaccine is immunogenic, meaning we can see these immune responses that can potentially be protective against the COVID-19 virus," he said.

Inovio moves to phase two and three trials this summer.

Their vaccine is one of 17 different vaccines currently being tested in the United States. Biotech company Moderna in Massachusetts is set to begin phase three of human trials this month with 30,000 volunteers.

Health officials say we're on the right track. They hope to have a safe and effective vaccine by late this year or early 2021.

However, another hurdle will be producing enough doses and convincing enough people to get the shot.

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