Inovio posts positive preclinical HIV vax results

Blue Bell, PA-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals has published data from two preclinical HIV trials this week. The results, published in Vaccine and PLoS One respectively, demonstrated the vaccines' immunogenicity and show promise for future Phase I trials.

The first trial focused on clade C, a subtype of HIV that is prevalent in Africa, India and China, and produced results up to three times greater than comparable DNA vaccines, according to a release. The second study used Inovio's PENNVAX HIV DNA vaccine against SIV, the monkey counterpart of HIV. The results from that study showed higher production of some gene sequences that monitor immune cell trafficking and cell cycle progression.

"This new preclinical data further validates the ability of Inovio's vaccines to induce powerful antigen-specific immune responses," said Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's president and CEO, in a release. "In the past year, we have demonstrated best-in-class clinical immunogenicity data from our DNA vaccines for cervical cancer and HIV in Phase I studies. Collectively, these clinical and preclinical studies further substantiate our product development efforts in these important disease areas."

The company plans to conduct two Phase I trials for the clade C vaccine using human patients in the U.S. and Africa, thanks in part to a $25 million NIAID contract.

- read the Inovio release