Tonix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TNXP) is collaborating with the Kenya Medical Research Institute to plan, seek regulatory approval for and conduct a Phase 1 clinical study in Kenya to develop Tonix’s TNX-801 as a vaccine to protect against monkeypox and smallpox. The study is expected to start in the first half of 2023.
“Since ending routine vaccination for smallpox in the 1960’s, monkeypox has emerged as a growing problem among people in West and Central Africa,” Seth Lederman, M.D. and CEO of Tonix, said in a statement.
“People who received the live virus vaccine for smallpox prior to eradication appear to maintain durable protective immunity against monkeypox,” he added.
TNX-801 is a live virus vaccine that Tonix believes is closer to the smallpox vaccines used in the U.S. and Europe before 1900 than the modern vaccinia smallpox vaccines. “TNX-801 has reduced virulence in animals, and we believe it has the potential for widespread use to protect against monkeypox,” Dr. Lederman said.