Confident Inovio chief pushes ahead on universal flu vaccine

Inovio Pharmaceuticals' irrepressible Joseph Kim gets the spotlight at U.S. News & World Report, which highlights the company's work on a universal flu vaccine and the CEO's certainty that his company is on the right track. Inovio has concentrated its vaccine work on zeroing in on the common features of the flu virus, which is notorious for its ability to mutate rapidly.

"It's like putting up a tent over your immune system that protects against rapidly mutating viruses," Kim says, adding that human studies on a universal approach are expected to get started next year. The NIH has been lending a hand as well, giving Inovio a $3.1 million grant in 2010.

Never known as a reluctant advocate for Inovio, Kim confidently asserts that his company's new vaccine would work against a newly engineered bird flu virus that is designed to spread among humans.

"I am very certain our vaccine can already neutralize that newly made virus," he says. "We're trying to get our hands on it."

- here's the story from U.S. News & World Report