Inovio Pharmaceuticals Receives Defense Department Funding for Bioterrorism-Related Synthetic Vaccine Program
Second DOD grant extends development and testing of novel surface electroporation delivery device for synthetic DNA vaccines
BLUE BELL, Pa., April 2, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today it has received a U.S. Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Grant to advance the development of a low-cost, non-invasive surface electroporation (EP) delivery device and test its utility in combination with Inovio's novel synthetic DNA vaccines against viruses with bioterrorism potential, including hanta, puumala, arenavirus and pandemic influenza. This project is a continuation of a first-stage DOD grant in 2011 that initiated Inovio's development of this skin delivery system.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's president & CEO, said, "Our human studies have already demonstrated that our existing intradermal delivery device is very tolerable and able to facilitate strong immune responses from our synthetic vaccines. The second phase of this project will take the important step of assessing this further optimized surface EP device with challenge studies in animals of synthetic vaccines targeting challenging bioterrorism targets. We are pleased to continue our collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense to create medical innovations with the potential to provide rapid, effective protection for both military and civilian populations."
In the first phase of this project, Inovio focused on optimizing the device design of its current minimally invasive surface EP device. In this second phase, the objective is to further advance and validate this device and the resulting immune responses in appropriate animal models. Inovio will also investigate the development and manufacture of low-cost sterile disposables for the device and the possibility of integrating dermal injection capabilities into a combined inject/EP device platform.
A low-cost, easy to use, tolerable device for the delivery of synthetic DNA vaccines would have direct applications by the military and healthcare sectors for mass vaccination. Inovio's current intradermal EP device penetrates to no more than 3 mm in depth, compared to intramuscular devices that go much deeper. Its minimally invasive surface EP device sits on the surface of the skin and uses a virtually undetectable scratch to facilitate delivery of the vaccine.
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is revolutionizing vaccines to prevent and treat today's cancers and challenging infectious diseases. Its SynCon® vaccines are designed to provide universal cross-strain protection against known as well as newly emergent unmatched strains of pathogens such as influenza. These synthetic vaccines, in combination with Inovio's proprietary electroporation delivery, have been shown in humans to generate best-in-class immune responses with a favorable safety profile. Inovio's clinical programs include Phase II studies for cervical dysplasia, leukemia and hepatitis C virus and Phase I studies for influenza and HIV. Partners and collaborators include the University of Pennsylvania, Merck, ChronTech, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, University of Southampton, US Dept. of Homeland Security and PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. More information is available at www.inovio.com .
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This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our business, including our plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and synthetic vaccines and our capital resources. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of factors, including uncertainties inherent in pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and product development programs (including, but not limited to, the fact that pre-clinical and clinical results referenced in this release may not be indicative of results achievable in other trials or for other indications, that the studies or trials may not be successful or achieve the results desired, that pre-clinical studies and clinical trials may not commence or be completed in the time periods anticipated, that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies and that results from an animal study may not be indicative of results achievable in human studies), the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of electroporation technology as a delivery mechanism or develop viable synthetic vaccines, the adequacy of our capital resources, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by the company or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that the company and its collaborators hope to develop, evaluation of potential opportunities, issues involving product liability, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide the company with meaningful protection from others using the covered technologies, whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity and whether the company can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of the company's technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, the impact of government healthcare proposals and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and other regulatory filings from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product in Inovio's pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products, or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proven accurate.