|Q&A Exclusive: CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Wednesday, 10 October 2012 07:19|
In this video interview with Inovio's president and CEO, Dr. J. Joseph Kim, biotech analyst David Moskowitz discusses how the firm is engaged in the discovery, development, and delivery of a new generation of vaccines, called DNA vaccines, focused on cancers and infectious diseases.
"DNA vaccines have a tremendous amount of benefits compared to conventional vaccines," explains Dr. Kim. "Conventional vaccines, as you may know, use live viruses or kill viruses. In contrast, DNA vaccines use the gentic codes for those vaccine antigens- just a simple blueprint of the gene material so you can cut out all the potentially harmful parts of the virus. In fact, our vaccine is designed without any aid of viruses. The challenge is how to deliver them properly and that's where our company has developed a dominant delivery system to make them work."
Inovio’s SynCon® technology enables the design of “universal” DNA-based vaccines capable of providing cross-protection against new, unmatched strains of pathogens such as influenza.
The company’s electroporation DNA delivery technology uses brief, controlled electrical pulses to increase cellular DNA vaccine uptake. Initial human data has shown this method can safely and significantly increase gene expression and immune responses. Their clinical programs include human papillomavirus (“HPV”)/cervical cancer (therapeutic), avian influenza (preventive), prostate cancer (therapeutic), leukemia (therapeutic), hepatitis C virus (“HCV”) and human immunodeficiency virus (“HIV”) vaccines.
Inovio is advancing preclinical research for a universal seasonal/pandemic influenza vaccine and other product candidates.
The Company’s partners and collaborators include University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health/Malaria Vaccine Initiative (“PATH” or “MVI”), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”), Merck, ChronTech, University of Southampton, United States Military HIV Research Program (“USMHRP”), U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (“USAMRIID”), HIV Vaccines Trial Network (“HVTN”) and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).