NEW YORK (AP) — Inovio Pharmaceuticals plans to initiate human testing of a DNA-based vaccine for the Ebola virus in the first half of 2015.
The announcement sent shares up almost 7 percent Wednesday.
The company creates DNA-based vaccines and immune therapies, and said its vaccine might be able to address a variety of developing strains of Ebola. Inovio said that it will work with GeneOne Life Science, a company in which Inovio owns a minority stake.
Results from the drug maker’s studies on guinea pigs and mice have been positive, with vaccinated animals surviving after exposure to the virus and maintaining their weight.
Ebola is spread when a victim comes in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. The virus produces a protein that wreaks havoc in the human body, causing blood to leak from blood vessels. It interrupts the body’s ability to thicken and coagulate blood.
What is believed to be the world’s largest outbreak of Ebola is raging through West Africa right now. Around 6,000 people have been sickened and U.S. health officials warned this week that the number of infected could explode to at least 1.4 million by mid-January.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. is based in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Its shares rose 65 cents to $10.42 in midday trading.