BLUE BELL, Pa., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: INO) has expanded its existing license agreement with the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), adding worldwide rights to technology and intellectual property for novel synthetic vaccines against cancer, infectious diseases and potential biodefense pathogens. These technologies were developed by UPenn Professor David B. Weiner and collaborators. Dr. Weiner is a pioneer in the field of DNA vaccines, and chairman of Inovio's scientific advisory board. All newly licensed products are in preclinical development.
In the new agreement, Inovio gains rights to synthetic vaccines to prevent and/or treat:
- Intestinal infections – Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, is an illness that most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long term care facilities, with symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It is responsible for more deaths than all other intestinal infections combined. Its incidence has doubled in the past 10 years.
- Cancer – new cancer therapeutic vaccines targeting Wilms' tumor gene or WT1. WT1 is highly expressed in leukemia and various types of solid tumors, making it an appropriate anti-cancer target for multiple types of cancers.
- Biodefense pathogens - includes the Ebola virus and the family of Filovirus such as Marburg - disease-causing agents that could potentially be used in bioterror attacks.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President and CEO, said, "Our synthetic vaccine technology offers the potential to prevent and/or treat a broad array of cancers and infectious diseases, and has achieved best-in-class immune responses in human studies. This new intellectual property from an eminent synthetic vaccine research laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania broadens our opportunities to pursue important new infectious diseases, cancers and biodefense targets."
Under the terms of the original license agreement completed in 2007, Inovio obtained exclusive worldwide rights to develop multiple DNA vaccines with the potential to treat and/or prevent HIV, hepatitis C virus, HPV and related diseases, and influenza. In a subsequent amendment in 2010, the license was expanded to include pandemic influenza, Chikungunya, foot-and-mouth disease, and chemokine and cytokine molecular adjuvant technologies. Then in 2011, Inovio added an exclusive worldwide license for technology and intellectual property for novel DNA vaccines against prostate cancer, CMV (cytomegalovirus), malaria, hepatitis B, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), and a new optimized IL-12 cytokine gene adjuvant. These prior and most recent agreements and amendments provide for milestone payments, and royalty payments, based on sales, to the University of Pennsylvania.
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is revolutionizing vaccines to prevent and treat today's cancers and challenging infectious diseases. Its SynCon® vaccines are designed to provide universal cross-strain protection against known as well as newly emergent unmatched strains of pathogens such as influenza. These synthetic vaccines, in combination with Inovio's proprietary electroporation delivery, have been shown in humans to generate best-in-class immune responses with a favorable safety profile. Inovio's clinical programs include phase II studies for cervical dysplasia, leukemia and hepatitis C virus and phase I studies for influenza and HIV. Partners and collaborators include the University of Pennsylvania, Merck, ChronTech, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, University of Southampton, US Dept. of Homeland Security and PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. More information is available at www.inovio.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our business, including our plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and DNA vaccines and our capital resources. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of factors, including uncertainties inherent in pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and product development programs (including, but not limited to, the fact that pre-clinical and clinical results referenced in this release may not be indicative of results achievable in other trials or for other indications, that the studies or trials may not be successful or achieve the results desired, that pre-clinical studies and clinical trials may not commence or be completed in the time periods anticipated, that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies and that results from an animal study may not be indicative of results achievable in human studies), the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of electroporation technology as a delivery mechanism or develop viable DNA vaccines, the adequacy of our capital resources, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by the company or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that the company and its collaborators hope to develop, evaluation of potential opportunities, issues involving product liability, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide the company 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 claims of invalidity and whether the company can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of the company's technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, our ability to secure new partnerships and collaborations, capital market conditions, the impact of government healthcare proposals and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, and other regulatory filings from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product in Inovio's pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products, or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proven accurate.
SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.