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Zika vaccine human trials expected to start within weeks

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread the virus. Credit: Reuters

A drug developer is expected to start human trial testing of a Zika vaccine in the coming weeks.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals and its partner GeneOne Life Sciences said they had received approval from US regulators to start an early stage trial.

Forty subjects will be tested to check the safety, tolerability and immune response generated by the vaccine, GLS-5700.

Inovio CEO Joseph Kim said: "We plan to dose our first subjects in the next weeks and expect to report phase I interim results later this year."

In February, the World Health Organization declared Zika a global public health emergency. The virus has been associated with microcephaly, a birth defect that stunts head and brain development.

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