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Therapeutic DNA Vaccine Delivery via Inovio’s Electroporation Technology Featured in Nature Reviews Cancer

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Inovio Biomedical Corp. has announced the online availability of a peer-reviewed scientific paper, “DNA vaccines: precision tools for activating effective immunity against cancer”, in the February 2008 issue of Nature Reviews Cancer.

The paper is authored by Jason Rice, Christian H. Ottensmeier and Freda K. Stevenson of the University of Southampton (UK). Dr. Ottensmeier and Dr. Stevenson are investigators for a prostate cancer Phase I/II clinical study assessing a DNA vaccine delivered using Inovio’s electroporation-based DNA delivery technology, which is intended to enable and enhance the potency of DNA vaccines.

Among the paper’s conclusions: “…for clinical trials of vaccines against cancer, initial enthusiasm turned to frustration with an apparent failure to translate promising vaccine designs from preclinical models into human subjects. The problem lay with delivery of DNA, and might now be solved by EP (electroporation), which is a known way of increasing transfection in vitro and is now successfully applied in vivo.”

The paper introduces new interim data from the Southampton clinical study: “…data from the two lowest dose levels already suggest that EP (electroporation) enhances antibody and CD4+ T-cell responses against the DOM 1 sequence. Preliminary analysis of CD8+ T-cell reactivity against the prostate-specific membrane antigen…indicates significant responses in 3 out of 3 patients so far (J.R., C.H.O. and F.K.S., unpublished observations).”

“We are gratified by this paper’s strong endorsement of electroporation-based delivery of DNA vaccines,” said Dr. Avtar Dhillon, Inovio’s President and CEO.

“This paper also provides the first evidence that Inovio’s technology may play an important role in inducing a significant T-cell response in humans, which could be vital to treating cancers and chronic infectious diseases. With the unique potential of DNA vaccines to stimulate such T-cell responses, the possibility for Inovio’s technology to overcome the persistent challenge of delivering DNA vaccines would indeed by a profound accomplishment.”

Inovio Biomedical’s electroporation-based delivery system is being tested in five clinical trials that are underway with DNA vaccines.