It's like mRNA, but on steroids. Rather than instructing your cells to produce a small portion, the spike protein of a given virus, iDNA products instruct cells to produce the virus in its entirety. As described in U.S. Patent 8691563B2:3
"The iDNA generates live attenuated vaccines in eukaryotic cells in vitro or in vivo for pathogenic RNA viruses … When iDNA is injected into the vaccine recipient, RNA of live attenuated virus is generated by in vivo transcription in the recipient's tissues.
This initiates production of progeny attenuated viruses in the tissues of the vaccine recipient, as well as elicitation of an effective immune response protecting against wild-type, non-attenuated virus."
According to Taipei-based Medigen,4 which launched its iDNA "vaccine" platform in 2018, the technology "combines genetic stability of DNA with the exceptional efficacy of live attenuated vaccines." "Live attenuated" vaccines refers to vaccines that contain live (viable) but weakened (less virulent) viruses.
The iDNA platform can be used to create vaccines in two different ways. You can either grow the iDNA in a culture to produce the vaccine in the conventional way, or you can inject the iDNA directly into the recipient and allow the body to produce the live attenuated virus internally.
What Could Go Wrong?
A 2016 paper described the iDNA process thus:5
"As any DNA vaccine, iDNA plasmids are isolated from bacteria and include a eukaryotic promoter, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) major immediate-early promoter.