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Inovio Pharmaceuticals' Universal Avian Flu Vaccine Generates Protective Antibody Responses Against Six H5N1 Viruses in Phase I Trial
Date:5/16/2012

ypes combine with one another, which is usually the cause of pandemic influenza outbreaks. As one example of concern, a strain of the deadly influenza subtype H5N1, which has killed about 60% of everyone infected by this virus but does not currently pass easily from person to person, may combine with a strain of H1N1 or other subtype that has a high infection rate to create a more virulent new strain. In addition, several recent, controversial published studies have shown that current H5N1 viruses can be manipulated to become more infectious. There is consequently a clear need for universal influenza vaccines capable of protecting against multiple, changing strains of influenza.

Inovio's novel SynCon® vaccine design process creates a single consensus gene sequence from one or more selected antigens (e.g. HA, NA, NP) of multiple existing virus strains within each targeted influenza subtype. The vaccine based on one or more of these new gene sequences is designed to achieve cross-strain or universal protection against the natural and frequent mutations of influenza strains that will inevitably emerge within each targeted subtype. In this study, a total of 17 patients completed a full H5N1 immunization regimen consisting of two intramuscular (IM) vaccinations with a synthetic DNA vaccine encoding three flu antigens (HA, NA, NP) followed by two intradermal (ID) vaccinations of only the HA antigen using Inovio's novel skin electroporation device. The vaccine was found to be well tolerated at each immunization. Reported adverse events and injection site reactions were mild to moderate and required no treatment.

We had previously reported that two IM immunizations alone generated strong T cell immune responses against 72% of the vaccinated subjects. The T cell responses from this study mirrored the best-in-class T cell responses generated from Inovio's other Phase I SynCon® vaccine trials for HIV and cervical cancer/dysplasia.

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SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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