Scientific Discussion of Results
Inovio researchers first investigated a novel panel of ten CMV immunogens comprised of mainly surface-associated proteins based on promising prior clinical and preclinical data that had been previously shown to be important for inducing cellular immune responses in CMV infection. To maximize the potential for broadly-reactive immunity, Inovio researchers created SynCon® vaccines for each of the target proteins based on amino acid consensus sequences from multiple variant CMV clinical strains, and excluded those from potentially divergent, highly passaged lab-adapted strains. The researchers adopted the same strategy as was shown previously to enhance protective immune responses against divergent strains of influenza and HIV. The designed target sequences were further genetically optimized at the nucleic acid level.
Researchers observed that vaccination with each CMV construct was highly T cell immunogenic in preclinical proof-of-concept mice studies, generating robust and broad T cell responses as extensively analyzed by the T cell ELISPOT assay. Each antigen produced responses against at least four and as many as 28 different regions of the antigen and, importantly, responses from both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were observed. This increased diversity and magnitude of cellular responses may be critical for effectively mitigating CMV infection and disease in the transplantation setting.
These data demonstrate that Inovio's next-generation SynCon® DNA vaccine technology is effective at inducing CD8+ T cell responses specific to CMV, in contrast to prior strategies that induced mainly CD4+-dominant responses. Additionally, a majority of epitopes identified for the gB, gH, an
|SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.|
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