Photo by Thomas Tolstrup via Getty Images

A San Diego laboratory made a scientific breakthrough that will likely save millions of lives in the battle against the deadly Coronavirus.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, located in Sorrento Valley, claims it created a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. Inovio is scrambling to get the vaccine to market as the COVID-19 confirmed cases jumped to 60,000 globally.

Dr. Trevor Smith, who is the director of research and development at Inovio, said, "It's something we are trained to do, and the infrastructure is here and the expertise is in house."

Smith said Inovio scientists got to work immediately after the Chinese released the genetic sequence of the virus in January. He said the vaccine was created in just 3 hours and 15 minutes.

"We have an algorithm which we designed, and we put the DNA sequence into our algorithm and came up with the vaccine in that short amount of time."

The vaccine has been tested on mice and guinea pigs with success. It will be tested on human patients next.

Scientists hope the vaccine will give patients' immune systems instructions to mount a defense against the invading virus in the form of T-cells and antibodies.

But prior research has shown the COVID-19 virus mutates (changes) rapidly and that patients who recover can be infected with the virus again.

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