GeneOne Life Science Inc has completed enrollment of the first-in-human clinical trial of the GLS-5300 vaccine for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) with a total of 75 subjects. GeneOne Life Science and US-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals are co-developing the vaccine.

This phase I clinical trial is funded by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and is being conducted at its Clinical Trials Center in Silver Spring, Md.

The MERS vaccine (GLS-5300) was designed as a SynCon vaccine by Inovio and was manufactured by VGXI, Inc., which is GeneOne’s wholly owned subsidiary and located in the Woodlands, Texas.

MERS is caused by a coronavirus that is related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus that over 10 years ago infected more than 8,000 people, with a 10% death rate. There is no vaccine or effective treatment against MERS, which spreads from human to human. Since 2012, MERS has infected almost 1,500 people and killed about 600 (40%). In the summer of 2015, South Korea was the site for the largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia of this emergent global health concern with 186 people infected with 36 (20%) fatalities.

Mr. Young K. Park, CEO, GeneOne Life Science, said, “MERS cases are continuing in the Middle East and we are moving rapidly with our partners to test a MERS vaccine in the clinic because there is no vaccine or treatment for this virulent virus. The completion of enrollment is a major step forward in combatting a highly lethal infection that has triggered widespread outbreaks in the Middle East and Korea.