Inovio receives grant for DNA vaccine research from US Dept of Defense Print E-mail
By Deborah Sterescu,   
Monday, 21 March 2011 11:30
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:INO) said Monday it has received a grant from the US Department of Defense to develop the company's DNA vaccines, designed to provide broad cross-strain protection against a range of pathogens.  

Specifically, the grant will be used to test the prospect of delivering the vaccines, using electroportation through the skin, to two or more sites on the body simultaneously.

The idea behind the research would be to mitigate the potential immune interference that would result from combination vaccines, and to allow for rapid vaccination against emerging infectious disease or pandemic threats. The tests will look to determine optimal "spatial separation" between vaccination sites on the body so as to avoid immune interference between multiple vaccines.

"This device would provide a means to painlessly deliver multiple vaccines simultaneously, bringing improved protection against infectious diseases to both military and civilian populations," said president and CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim.

The studies will be conducted using Inovio's electroportation platform, which uses millisecond electrical pulses to improve the efficacy of the vaccine and resulting immune responses. The intradermal device penetrates no more than three millimetres into the skin, compared to intramuscular devices that go deeper.

Inovio is currently developing its DNA vaccines for a wide range of diseases, including cervical cancer, avian flu and HIV.


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