Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: INO) announced today the publication of positive immunological effects in preclinical animal models of optimized electroporation (EP) parameters for its minimally invasive skin (intradermal) EP delivery devices in the peer-reviewed journal, Human Gene Therapy.
The newly published optimized conditions for Inovio’s skin EP delivery systems will dramatically enhance this delivery system as an attractive method for mass vaccination by decreasing dose levels, increasing tolerability of the vaccination, and increasing the breadth of viable vaccine targets. The newly optimized conditions pave the path for more efficient delivery for Inovio’s universal flu vaccines as well as the HIV vaccines currently in testing in Phase I studies.
In a paper entitled, “Intradermal DNA vaccination enhanced by low-current electroporation improves antigen expression and induces robust cellular and humoral immune responses,” Inovio scientists and collaborators demonstrated that the optimization of EP parameters including the decreased use of the current could generate stronger antibody and T cell responses to HIV and flu vaccine antigens in both guinea pigs and monkeys.
Skin is an attractive target tissue for delivering DNA vaccines for multiple reasons: skin is the largest organ of the human body and readily accessible; it is highly immunocompetent, meaning it is the tissue most capable of developing a broad immune response to antigens.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, said, “This study of our new minimally invasive skin delivery system could lead to an increase in the ease of administration and a strengthening of the vaccine’s potency. These technologies should play an important role in Inovio’s quest to develop paradigm changing vaccines and immune therapies for several major diseases.”
Inovio has already conducted two separate phase I studies of its universal flu vaccine using the skin EP delivery system and generated broadly protective hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) titers against some of the most prevalent strains of H5N1 and H1N1 influenza.
The published research study was funded in part by a $25 million HIV vaccine development contract from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a $3.1 million National Institutes of Health Director’s Transformative Research Award for universal flu vaccine development.
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