Emory among three U.S. study sites for clinical trial of Zika vaccine

The Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center will be among three U.S. study sites for a clinical trial of a vaccine to prevent Zika infection.

The vaccine was developed by the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases developed the vaccine , part of the National Institutes of Health, which is also sponsoring the trials.

At least 80 healthy volunteers ages 18-35 years will be enrolled at the three sites, including the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.; the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore; and the Hope Clinic.

In Atlanta, the clinical trial will be led by Dr. Srilatha Edupuganti and Dr. Nadine Rouphael.

More than a dozen people in the Miami area have been infected with the Zika virus, leading the CDC to take the unprecedented step of issuing a travel advisory for a U.S. city. The warming is for pregnant women and their partners

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The first phase will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune system response in participants.

The vaccine includes a small, circular piece of DNA—called a plasmid—that scientists engineered to contain genes that code for proteins of the Zika virus. When the vaccine is injected into the arm muscle, cells read the genes and make Zika virus proteins, which self-assemble into virus-like particles.

Initial safety and immunogenicity data from the Phase 1 trial are expected by January 2017. If results show a favorable safety profile and immune response, NIAID plans to initiate a Phase 2 trial in Zika-endemic countries in early 2017.

For information about participating in the clinical trial at Emory, please e-mail vaccine@emory.edu or call the Emory Hope Clinic at 404-712-1371.


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