The CDC cleared the way for two drug companies to begin testing a Zika vaccine on humans. Inovio Pharmaceuticals and South Korean based GeneOne Life Science dosed their first human subject last week as part phase 1 safety trials.
During this phase, they’ll dose 40 healthy adult volunteers and to test the vaccine’s safety and the body’s immune system response.
If phase one is a success, they’ll begin phase two, which includes testing several more volunteers and examining patients’ antibodies that signal whether someone can fend off an infection. Finally, they’ll move into Phase three, the final step before getting approval to mass produce. This is when they’ll go into affected areas and give people either a vaccine or a placebo to allow researchers to figure out how effective the vaccine is against preventing the virus.
Phase one alone will take roughly 4 months, so researchers predict the vaccine won’t be approved for public use for at least a year.