Inovio Acquires Rights to Augment Patent Estate for Electroporation-Assisted DNA Delivery
News May 16, 2006
Inovio Biomedical Corporation has announced that it has acquired, under a license with Sphergen SARL, rights to several patent families relating to the use of electroporation technology.
The rights Inovio has licensed include two patents with broad claims regarding electroporation of nucleic acids in muscle (U.S. Patent No. 6,939,862) and tumor tissue (U.S. Patent No. 6,528,315).
This intellectual property acquisition enhances the breadth of Inovio's patent portfolio directed to the use of electroporation technology to deliver therapeutic biopharmaceuticals.
The license also includes grants of rights to know how, future improvements, and provisions for exclusivity in applications to human medicine.
Inovio's seminal 1993 patent for electroporation, U.S. Patent No. 5,273,525, was pioneering with respect to the use of needle electrodes for gene and drug delivery in human applications including DNA vaccination in muscle and other tissues.
Inovio has since continued to expand its position by acquiring additional patents covering electroporation-assisted delivery of genes in muscle tissue, which is now being studied as a primary target tissue for delivering DNA-based therapies.
Considering the license with Sphergen, Inovio not only controls more US patents dealing with electroporation subject matter, but also the broadest claim set for the major wave forms and voltage conditions shown so far to be critical to operating in the field of DNA delivery in muscle, tumor and other human tissues.
Importantly, Inovio's patent acquisitions are increasing the enforceable life of its patented technology.
Based on the evolution to date of the potential use of electroporation technology as a therapy to treat cancer and other indications, control over these patents is providing Inovio and its partners with the latitude to develop and use electroporation-assisted delivery methodologies with optimal performance, selectivity and medical benefit for a wide array of potential DNA-based therapeutics.
"Inovio's patent portfolio is a significant asset to facilitate the commercialization of DNA therapeutics delivered using electroporation, particularly in muscle tissue," said Avtar Dhillon, MD, CEO of Inovio Biomedical.
"Such therapeutics include DNA vaccines, which are increasingly recognized as having tremendous potential to treat or prevent a range of conditions such as infectious diseases and cancers."
"Inovio will continue to aggressively seek to enhance its patent estate and know-how in an effort to position the company as the essential partner in this field."
"We plan to continue to license our intellectual property to companies pursuing development of new DNA and drug-based therapies using electroporation-assisted delivery to muscle and other tissues."
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.