Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday it has received $71 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to scale up production of the company's devices that are used to administer its experimental COVID-19 vaccine into the skin.

There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for the COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with governments, drugmakers and researchers working on about 100 vaccine programs. Experts predict that a safe and effective vaccine could take at least 12 to 18 months to develop.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc Receives $71 million

Coronavirus Vaccine
Representational Image Twitter

Inovio, which began human testing of its vaccine in April, said it expects to report interim results from the trial later this month, and added that it would begin mid-stage trials this summer. The DoD contract will support Inovio's efforts to deliver potentially hundreds of millions of doses of its experimental vaccine next year.