DNA Vaccine Delivery Technology Shows Promise in Inducing Stronger Immune Responses
SAN DIEGO, August 14, 2008—Inovio Biomedical Corporation (AMEX:INO), a leader in enabling the development of DNA vaccines using a proprietary electroporation-based DNA delivery platform, announced today it has expanded its research license with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a leading organization dedicated to ensuring the development of safe and effective preventive HIV vaccines. Inovio's electroporation delivery technology is intended to enhance the potency of DNA vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases by increasing the cellular uptake of an agent by 1,000 times or more. This technology also has the potential to induce significant antibody and T-cell immune responses, both of which scientists believe will be critical to developing a preventive HIV vaccine.
“DNA vaccines offer a promising avenue of pursuit in AIDS vaccine development,” said Dr. Timothy Zamb, head of IAVI’s AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory. “The safe and effective delivery of DNA vaccines, however, has proved challenging to date. Electroporation offers a potentially promising solution to this stumbling block. We are impressed by our DNA delivery results using Inovio’s electroporation-based delivery device, and look forward to broadening our R&D efforts with their technology.”
“IAVI is one of the foremost HIV vaccine development organizations in the world,” stated Avtar Dhillon, MD, president and CEO of Inovio. “IAVI’s desire to extend and expand our relationship suggests that HIV vaccine development may benefit from the use of our electroporation technology.”
Inovio and IAVI signed an initial agreement in March 2007. The parties have now extended this agreement by three years. As part of this new agreement, Inovio will provide IAVI with additional proprietary electroporation devices to conduct pre-clinical research on HIV genes and vaccine candidates.
About Inovio’s DNA Delivery Technology
DNA vaccines have the potential to bypass scientific obstacles inherent in the development of conventional vaccines. For example, DNA vaccines may be better in stimulating cellular immunity necessary to fight chronic infection or diseases such as cancer. Despite this promise, vaccination using DNA plasmid alone, without enhanced delivery, has not been shown to reach the threshold for clinical benefit.
Intramuscular delivery of DNA vaccines using Inovio’s proprietary electroporation technology has been shown in primate studies to boost the immune response by orders of magnitude over DNA plasmid alone. Plasmid-based vaccines induced higher levels of antibodies and T-cell responses when delivered via electroporation, suggesting the potential to provide better protection from infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. Interim results from multiple human studies have shown that Inovio’s electroporation delivery technology in conjunction with different immunotherapies was safe, tolerable, induced heightened immune responses, and provided evidence of clinical responses (tumor regression for melanoma; hepatitis C viral load reduction).
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 24 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The John D. Evans Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Starr Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Basque Autonomous Government as well as the European Union; multilateral organizations such as The World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Continental Airlines, Google Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer Inc; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Until There's A Cure Foundation; other private donors such as The Haas Trusts; and many generous individuals from around the world. For more information, visitwww.iavi.org.
About Inovio Biomedical Corporation
Inovio Biomedical (AMEX:INO) is focused on developing multiple DNA-based immunotherapies. Inovio is a leader in developing applications of electroporation using brief, controlled electrical pulses to increase cellular uptake of a useful biopharmaceutical. Interim human data has shown that Inovio’s DNA delivery technology, which is protected by an extensive patent portfolio covering in vivo electroporation, can significantly increase gene expression and immune responses from DNA vaccines. Immunotherapy partners include Merck, Wyeth, Tripep, Vical, University of Southampton, Moffitt Cancer Center, the U.S. Army, National Cancer Institute, and International Aids Vaccine Initiative. Inovio has announced a proposed merger with VGX Pharmaceuticals. More information is available at www.inovio.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our plans to develop our electroporation drug and gene delivery technology. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations as a result of a number of factors, including the uncertainties inherent in 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 and that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies), the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of Inovio’s technology as a delivery mechanism, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by Inovio or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that Inovio and its collaborators hope to develop, evaluation of potential opportunities, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide Inovio 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 Inovio can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of our technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, our 10-Q for the six months ended June 30, 2008 and other regulatory filings from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product in our product 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 proved accurate.