Pfizer snags electroporation device license from Ichor for cancer vaccine delivery

Ichor Medical Systems' TriGrid electroporation device--Courtesy of Ichor

Pfizer ($PFE) is licensing electroporation technology from Ichor Medical Systems to help deliver DNA-based vaccines more efficiently.

For an undisclosed amount, Pfizer signed a deal to use the San Diego company's TriGrid intramuscular electroporation system, which creates temporary pores in cell membranes, allowing vaccines to become more thoroughly entrenched. Pfizer is interested in making the technology a part of its preclinical cancer vaccine-based immunotherapy research program, according to a release from Ichor.

TrigGrid uses electrodes set up in a pattern of interlocking triangles to form a diamond shape around a needle, according to the company's website. The electrode system uses these electrical pulses to distribute plasmid DNA via intramuscular or intradermal delivery, which can both improve the efficiency of the dose and reduce the risk of tissue damage.

The device is the first integrated and fully automated device of its kind.

"We are pleased to be collaborating with Ichor in the application of its technology for Pfizer's investigational therapeutic cancer vaccine-based immunotherapy programs," senior VP and CSO of Pfizer's Vaccine Immunotherapeutics Research Unit James Merson said in a statement. "Therapeutic vaccine-based immunotherapies hold considerable promise to potentially extend or improve the lives of patients with many different types of cancer."

TriGrid may also be used for other DNA-based vaccines for diseases such as malaria, hepatitis B and HIV, as well as those associated with biodefense agents, according to Ichor.

- here's the release