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Inovio Pharmaceuticals Demonstrates Positive Immune Responses in Phase I Clinical Trial of SynCon™ H5N1 Influenza Vaccine and Launches Multi-Subtype Influenza Vaccine Phase I
Date:7/14/2011

ent of effective vaccines against these influenza subtypes is that, within subtypes, there are hundreds or thousands of strains that may vary slightly and which naturally and frequently mutate to create new strains. Today's vaccines only provide protection by matching the virus strain of concern, and are often unable to provide protection because they do not match the strain that becomes prolific during the next flu season. Moreover, subtypes can "reassort" - for example, a current concern is that a strain of H5N1, which is very deadly but does not currently pass from person to person, may combine with a strain of H1N1 or other subtype that does pass from person to person.

Inovio's novel approach is to synthetically create consensus gene sequences derived from the HA antigens of multiple existing virus strains within a targeted influenza subtype. This results in patentable DNA vaccine constructs encoded to produce antigens that do not match any one existing strain but have been shown in multiple animal studies to protect against unmatched known and newly emergent strains (e.g. the 2009 swine-origin H1N1 virus). While providing cross-strain protection within each subtype, creating and combining multiple DNA vaccine constructs for different subtypes expands Inovio's vision for a truly universal influenza vaccine capable of providing broad protection against yearly seasonal influenza and the less frequent but inevitable virulent strains that rise to pandemic status.

In addition to creating SynCon vaccines based on HA and NA antigens, which are the proteins that evolve most frequently, Inovio has also created SynCon constructs for the NP and m2E proteins, which mutate much less frequently and are more conserved across different strains, adding additional antigenic targets to broaden the potential protective capability of its influenza vaccines.

Inovio has established a modular development plan for systematically combining vaccine components targetin
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SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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