VGX Pharma gets $23M NIH grant for HIV vax

Start-up VGX Pharmaceuticals has been awarded $23 million from the National Institutes of Health to complete the development and manufacturing of their preventive HIV vaccine, which is now in the precinical stage. The vaccine, Pennvax-G, was developed by VGX co-founder Dr. David B. Weiner of the University of Pennsylvania.

"This contract substantiates the NIH's endorsement of VGX's approach to DNA vaccines and their delivery via our proprietary in vivo electroporation technology," said Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Co-founder, President and CEO of VGX. "HIV remains a challenging and tremendously important area of medical research, and we value the NIH's support to further evaluate the immunogenicity and efficacy of our electroporation delivery system and novel preventive HIV vaccine candidate."

Despite the rocky markets, as of October 1, 2008, the privately-owned company hopes to complete its IPO before the end of the year.

- check out the VGX release