Inovio receives top-notch results in monkey study for prostate cancer vaccine Print E-mail
By Deborah Sterescu,   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 05:52
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:INO) said Wednesday that its DNA vaccine for prostate cancer showed "remarkable" immune responses in a monkey trial, positioning the company one step closer to start a phase one clinical study by mid-year 2012.

The new data follows similar strong T cell levels, cells crucial to the immune system, in previously reported animal trials, the company said.

NEW: Inovio Pharmaceuticals' DNA Vaccine for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Generates Protective Neutralizing Antibodies in Second Large-Animal Study

"In this monkey trial, vaccinations with INO-5150 generated strong and robust T cell immune responses," it described in a statement.

"In a prior study in mice, INO-5150 immunization induced potent antibody and T cell responses, providing initial evidence that the concept for a therapeutic DNA vaccine comprising a broader collection of antigens, administered with Inovio's electroporation-based delivery technology, would improve the breadth and effectiveness of a prostate cancer immunotherapy."

The development of a new treatment for prostate cancer would be a significant medical advance given that present treatment options, including surgery, radiation and hormone deprivation,  all carry deleterious side effects and often do not confer a long-term cure.

Across the US, there were 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer and more than 32,000 deaths in 2010. Inovio is currently manufacturing clinical grade vaccines, with the goal of launching its planned phase one study in the middle of next year.

"The immune response data achieved by our SynCon prostate cancer vaccine in this large animal study is exceptional. It reinforces the repeatedly and consistently strong, long-lasting immune responses achieved by Inovio's DNA vaccine platform against multiple cancers as well as other diseases," said president and CEO Dr. J Joseph Kim.

"We are optimistic about the potential of this therapeutic vaccine in our planned prostate cancer human study and broadly speaking for cancers in general, including our currently progressing cervical cancer and leukemia phase II clinical studies."

The company's DNA vaccines are designed to provide broad cross-strain protection against known as well as newly emergent strains of pathogens.

These vaccines, in combination with Inovio’s own electroporation delivery devices, have been shown to be safe and generate significant immune responses. The company has three clinical programs in phase two studies for vaccines treating cervical dysplasia/cancer, the hepatitis C virus, and leukemia. Other programs are targeting the flu and HIV.


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