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Inovio Pharmaceuticals' DNA Vaccine for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Generates Protective Neutralizing Antibodies in Second Large-Animal Study
Date:6/30/2011

pes (subtypes) of FMD in a single vaccine. Inovio's SynCon™ technology enables rapid development of vaccines that can cover multiple subtypes simultaneously with a single formulation. Inovio and its academic collaborators have generated and successfully tested SynCon™ DNA vaccine constructs targeting four of the seven main FMD virus subtypes.

FMD is highly infectious. Furthermore, due to the fear of inadvertent spread to farm animals, research with the live virus to test vaccine efficacy is heavily restricted to only a few government laboratories in the US. The investigators therefore developed a new proprietary neutralization assay (using a mock virus unrelated to FMD to assess the ability of the vaccine-induced antibodies to neutralize virus infection). Inovio previously reported the induction of strong cellular and antibody responses in vaccinated pigs after a single vaccination. In a follow-on investigation of the immune responses with the novel neutralization assay against the Asia strain, the vaccinated animals developed neutralizing antibody (NAb) titers averaging 90 after a single vaccination and increasing in magnitude to 191 after two vaccinations. For comparison, commercially available attenuated/killed FMD virus vaccines are able to protect swine with an NAb titer of 32-40. These results are the first report of a DNA vaccine producing high titers of neutralizing antibodies against FMD.

In the second large-animal study, sheep were vaccinated three times at 0, 5, and 10 weeks with a combination vaccine targeting either four subtypes (O, A, C, Asia), three subtypes (O, A, Asia), or a single subtype (Asia). The study investigators observed in the vaccinated animals high levels of seroconversion (production of antibodies specific to a particular antigen) and antibody titers (the actual level of antibody production; in this case, ranging from 1000 – 100,000) to all the vaccine subtypes after only one or two vaccinations. Import
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SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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