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The Wistar Institute's coronavirus vaccine candidate is one of over 100 currently in development around the world. Credit: Kylie Cooper

The Wistar Institute announced on Wednesday that a study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine showed signs of prompting an immune response in animals. 

The animal study showed the vaccine caused the activation of T cells and the production of antibodies that neutralize the virus in mice and guinea pigs. The animals responded to immunization within days of receiving a single dose of the vaccine. 

The Wistar vaccine is already in the first phase of human testing, which is being conducted as researchers continue studying the vaccine’s performance on animals, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The vaccine was the second vaccine in the United States to enter a phase one clinical study, which is taking place at Penn Medicine and the Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City.

Penn Medicine professor and principal clinical investigator of the study Pablo Tebas said he has not seen any serious side effects of the vaccine besides redness around the injection site as of late April. The study is expected to last six months, however if the trial continues to proceed without any issues, the researchers will begin phase two of the clinical trials in about a month, Tebas said.

The Wistar vaccine is one of over 100 coronavirus vaccine candidates that are currently in development around the world, the Inquirer reported