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Inovio Pharmaceuticals and VGX International to Advance Therapeutic Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B Synthetic Vaccines into Clinical Studies
Date:10/10/2011

BLUE BELL, Pa., Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: INO), a leader in the development of synthetic vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today that it has entered into a product development collaboration agreement with its affiliate, VGX International Inc. (KSE:011000), to co-develop  Inovio's SynCon® therapeutic vaccines for hepatitis B and C infections.

Under the terms of the agreement, VGX International will receive marketing rights for these vaccines in Asia, excluding Japan, and in return will fully fund IND-enabling and initial phase I and II clinical studies. Inovio will receive payments based on the achievement of clinical milestones and royalties based on sales in the licensed territories and retains all commercial rights in all other territories.

The first product to enter clinical testing will be a synthetic multi-antigen hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine covering genotypes 1a and 1b and targeting the antigens NS3/4A, which includes HCV nonstructural proteins 3 (NS3) and 4A (NS4A), as well as NS4B and NS5A proteins. The vaccine will be delivered with Inovio's CELLECTRA® delivery device. IND-enabling toxicology tests will be conducted in 1H 2012, with the intent being to initiate a phase I clinical study in late 2012. The target population for the vaccine clinical trials will be HCV infected individuals.

Supporting this product development advancement are positive preclinical results from Inovio's novel SynCon® vaccine targeting NS3/4A, which were published in the journal Molecular Therapy in the paper, "Hepatitis C Virus NS3/NS4A DNA Vaccine Induces Multi-epitope T Cell Responses in Rhesus Macaques Mimicking Human Immune Responses." Following immunization, rhesus macaques mounted strong HCV-specific T cell immune responses strikingly similar to those reported in patien
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SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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