Key observations of the study included:
-- Vaccination in combination with in vivo electroporation led to a more rapid onset and enhanced vaccine-specific immune responses.
-- This increase in CMI (cell-mediated immune) responses translates to an apparent 50-200-fold (8 weeks and 22 weeks, respectively) increase in pDNA (plasmid DNA) vaccine potency.
-- Importantly, in vivo electroporation enhanced the immune response against the less immunogenic antigens, resulting in a more balanced immune response.
-- In addition, in vivo electroporation resulted in an approximate 2.5 log10 increase in antibody responses.
"Wyeth's non-human primate data demonstrated a significant increase in both the breadth and magnitude of the cellular immune response to selected HIV antigens . This is the type of response that virologists have been seeking for many years," stated Avtar Dhillon, MD, president and CEO of Inovio. "While these data will need to be reproduced in human clinical trials, the significant enhancement in potency observed to date reaffirms our position that electroporation is a key enabling technology for DNA vaccines."
Inovio's collaboration and non-exclusive license agreement with Wyeth was announced in November 2006.
About Inovio's DNA Delivery Technology
DNA vaccines have the potential to by-pass scientific obstacles inherent in the development of conventional vaccines. For example, DNA vaccines may be better in stimulating cellular immunity necessary to fight chronic infection or diseases such as cancer. Despite this promise, vaccination using DNA plasmid alone without enhanced delivery has not been shown to reach the threshold for clinical benefit.
Intramuscular delivery of DNA vaccines using Inovio's proprietary electroporation technology has been shown in primate studies to boost the immune response by orders of magnitude over DNA plasmid alone. Plasmid-based vaccines induced higher levels of antibodies and T-cell responses when delivered via electroporation, suggesting the potential to provide better protection from infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.
About Inovio Biomedical Corporation
Inovio Biomedical Corporation is focused on commercializing its Selective Electrochemical Tumor Ablation (SECTA) therapy and development of multiple DNA vaccines using its delivery platform for gene-based treatments. SECTA is a local ablation therapy for solid tumors that is designed to selectively kill cancerous cells and minimize cosmetic or functional impacts to predominantly healthy tissue typically treated around the tumor. Inovio is moving its lead product, the MedPulser(R), through pre-marketing studies for head and neck cancer and skin cancers in Europe, where it has CE Mark acc reditation, a U.S. phase III pivotal study for head and neck cancer, and a phase I/II trial for breast cancer. Inovio's DNA delivery partners include Merck, Wyeth, Vical, University of Southampton, Moffitt Cancer Center, and the U.S. Army, with four gene-based therapies and DNA vaccines in phase I clinical studies. Inovio is a leader in developing human therapeutic applications of electroporation, which uses brief, controlled electrical pulses to dramatically increase cellular uptake of a useful biopharmaceutical, with the industry's most extensive patent portfolio covering in vivo electroporation. More information is available at www.inovio.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our plans to develop our electroporation drug and gene delivery technology and about the availability of supporting internet technology. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations as a result of a number of factors, including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs (including, but not limited to, the fact that pre-clinical results referenced in this release may not be indicative of results achievable from testing in humans); the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of Inovio's technology as a delivery mechanism; the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by Inovio or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that Inovio and its collaborators hope to develop; evaluation of potential opportunities; issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide Inovio with meaningful protection from others using the covered technologies; whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand c laims of invalidity; whether Inovio can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend its proprietary rights; the level of corporate expenditures; assessments of our technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators; capital market conditions; and other factors set forth in the our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, and other regulatory filings. There can be no assurance that any product in our product pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products.
Inovio Biomedical Corporation
Bernie Hertel, 858-410-3101 (Investor Relations)
Jeff Richardson, 805-491-8313 (Media Relations)