The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a clinical trial for Zika vaccine that will make way for the researchers to test the first excremental Zika vaccine on humans in the coming weeks.
It’s a breakthrough in medical history in a battle to combat the mosquito-borne disease that has now become a global health threat, especially to children.
The trial will begin in a few weeks, according to a press release published by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, one of the two companies behind the vaccine. The company plans to test the vaccine (GLS-5700) on 40 healthy adults where the research will focus on safety and immune response to the vaccine. It would involve several trails in order to prove the vaccine is safe. The results of the trial are expected to roll out later this year.
If the trial shows a positive sign, then the vaccine will be tested in humans who are affected by the virus by the end of the year. Researchers have needed to evaluate how the human bodies respond to the vaccine and the proper dosage levels. Testing on small and large animals has already completed, and it caused a strong antibody response, the company says.
There are currently no vaccines or drug treatments for Zika, a disease that the National Institutes of Health says has reached pandemic levels in the Americas. Last week, six babies in the US were found to have birth defects related to the virus, of which three babies survived and the other three miscarried.