MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — Across the world there is a fierce race to find a treatment for COVID-19. A local pharmaceutical company has just committed 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate.
This comes after another vaccine study is abruptly put on hold.
The race to find a safe and working coronavirus vaccine has a player right here in our region.
“I feel really energized, and I couldn’t be any more proud of our team,” said Dr. Joseph Kim.
That’s because Dr. Kim, the CEO of Inovio Pharmaceutical, a Plymouth Meeting-based company that has developed a COVID-19 vaccine, says he’s already secured a manufacturer which will quickly produce millions of doses.
“They can provide 100 million doses of manufacturing of our vaccine next year in 2021,” Dr. Kim said.
But now, Inovio’s vaccine must go through the critical stage three trial, which tests for its safety.
“We’re waiting for and planning to start that trial this month,” said Dr. Kim.
Already three other vaccines are in final-stage tests in the U.S.
“There are multiple shots on goal for the world,” Kim said.
But one of them by biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has been put on hold as scientists investigate a patient who had a serious side effect.
“It’s a balance of making sure we can compress and develop a vaccine or a set of vaccines against COVID-19 as rapidly a possible, but if you’re doing it so fast, there is a lingering worry, are you cutting the steps too much or not,” Kim said.
AstraZeneca did not reveal any information about the possible side effect except to call it a “potentially unexplained illness.”
Dr. Kim says he expects at least one or more working and safe vaccines by early 2021.