Inovio Pharmaceuticals Acquires Early Stage DNA Therapies to Treat Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis
BLUE BELL, Pa., May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: INO) announced today it acquired worldwide rights (excluding China) for early preclinical therapies addressing Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis based on the academic research of Dr. Bin Wang, a professor at Fudan University's Shanghai Medical College. Dr. Wang is a pioneer in the field of DNA therapies, having worked closely with Dr. David Weiner at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wang was the primary author on some of the earliest DNA vaccine papers and patents. In consideration for these rights, Inovio will make clinical and regulatory milestone payments to the University.
These newly licensed technologies are based on patent-protected and published discoveries from Dr. Wang and his collaborator, who found a novel way to generate inducible regulatory T cells, or iTreg. iTreg cells are involved in shutting down immune responses after they have successfully eliminated invading organisms, and also in preventing autoimmunity or inflammatory diseases. In multiple published preclinical studies, this approach generated CD25-iTreg in an antigen-specific manner. These novel approaches could be used to develop therapies targeting major inflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis and may be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Inovio gains global rights to preclinical synthetic products to prevent and/or treat:
- Alzheimer's disease – An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, including approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65. More than 500,000 seniors die each year from Alzheimer's, the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. Because of the increasing number of people age 65 and older in the United States, the annual number of new cases of Alzheimer's is projected to double by 2050.
- Multiple Sclerosis - MS is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system. It usually affects people beginning in their 20s or 30s and is one of the most common causes of non-traumatic disability among young and middle-aged people. MS affects more than 350,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million worldwide. MS-related healthcare costs are estimated to be more than $10 billion annually in the United States.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's President and CEO, said, "Acquiring these early-stage technologies is just another step in our ultimate goal of controlling the immune system to fight diseases in a more safe and effective manner using Inovio's immune engineering platform. Our therapeutic cancer vaccines in the clinic are designed to properly activate and direct T cells to kill cancer cells. These new candidates are designed to do the opposite by shutting down unwanted and aberrant T cell responses that cause autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. These new technologies give us the potential to go after these important disease targets."
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is revolutionizing vaccines to prevent and treat today's cancers and challenging infectious diseases. Its SynCon® vaccines, in combination with its proprietary electroporation delivery, are generating best-in-class immune responses, with therapeutic T-cell responses exceeding other technologies in terms of magnitude, breadth, and response rate. Human data to date have shown a favorable safety profile. Inovio's lead vaccine, a therapeutic against HPV-caused pre-cancers and cancers, is in phase II. Other phase I and preclinical programs target prostate, breast, and lung cancers as well as HIV, influenza, malaria and hepatitis. Partners and collaborators include Roche, the University of Pennsylvania, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, University of Southampton, US Dept. of Homeland Security, University of Manitoba 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, 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, 2013, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, 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.