Inovio Biomedical Receives Additional Milestone Payment from Merck Relating to Electroporation Delivery System for DNA Vaccines
News Dec 14, 2007
Inovio Biomedical Corporation has announced that it will receive a $2 million milestone payment from Merck & Co., Inc. resulting from the filing of a second Investigational New Drug application to the US Food & Drug Administration by Merck for a DNA-based vaccine using Inovio's MedPulser® DNA Delivery System.
The milestone relates to Inovio's collaboration and license with Merck initiated in May 2004 for the development of certain DNA vaccines. Further development of the product may lead to additional milestone payments and royalties to Inovio.
Inovio will receive this milestone payment for its contribution to the collaboration, which has so far demonstrated the high level of gene delivery and expression that is thought to be necessary for the induction of a therapeutic immune response. Merck has funded all clinical development costs of this candidate to date.
"This is the second investigational DNA-based vaccine that Merck has advanced into clinical studies using Inovio's proprietary electroporation delivery technology," said Avtar Dhillon, MD, Inovio's president and CEO. "Achievement of this milestone demonstrates Inovio's ability to collaborate with large pharma partners to add value to their DNA-based vaccine programs."
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.