Zika DNA Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 5, 2017

Zika DNA Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial

By Kelly Young

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM

An investigational synthetic DNA vaccine (GLS-5700) seems to prompt an immune response against the Zika virus, but researchers caution that more data are needed on the vaccine's long-term safety and efficacy, according to a phase 1, industry-supported trial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Forty healthy adults received 1 or 2 mg of the vaccine at baseline, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks. Injections were followed by electroporation (use of a pulsed electric field to introduce the DNA into cells).

At 14 weeks, all patients had Zika-specific binding antibodies. Roughly 70% of the serum samples had 90% inhibition to Zika infection.

Next, mice were injected with post-vaccination serum and then given a lethal dose of Zika; 92% survived. The authors write: "This finding suggests that the antibody response generated by the vaccine was protective in this infection model."

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