VGX Awarded $23.5 Million NIH Contract to Develop Preventive HIV Vaccine Delivered Via Electroporation
News Oct 07, 2008
VGX Pharmaceuticals has announced that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded the company a contract to develop a preventive HIV DNA vaccine candidate in conjunction with VGX’s constant current electroporation technology for intradermal delivery of DNA vaccines.
The contract was awarded to VGX under the NIAID’s HIV Vaccine Design and Development Teams program and brings together HIV vaccine experts from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and VGX.
The contract, titled “Development of Improved DNA Vaccines and Electroporation Delivery Devices for Prophylactic HIV Vaccines”, provides $23.5 million of funding over seven years, including a base period and follow-on option years.
VGX’s vaccine candidate, PENNVAX™-G (targeting HIV clades A, C, and D), was developed in the laboratory of DNA vaccines pioneer Professor David B. Weiner at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and licensed to VGX. The DNA-based vaccine will be delivered using VGX’s intradermal electroporation (ID-EP) technology. This program expands VGX’s portfolio of candidate HIV vaccines. The PENNVAX™-B vaccine is presently in two Phase I clinical trials.
The funding of VGX and the proposed development program covers preclinical optimization, immunogenicity and challenge studies in animal models, IND-enabling toxicology studies, cGMP-manufacturing of all components of the DNA vaccine and CELLECTRA®-ID-EP device, and the conduct of a Phase I human clinical trial.
cGMP manufacture of the PENNVAX™-G constructs to support clinical trials will be conducted at VGXI, Inc.’s state of the art manufacturing facility. The principal investigator for the contract is Dr. Niranjan Y. Sardesai, VGX’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development.
“VGX is honored to be chosen for this important contract from the NIH to further develop our electroporation-delivered HIV vaccine. Dr. Weiner is acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of DNA vaccines, and we are excited to have put together the VGX-University of Pennsylvania development team in partnership with the Division of AIDS at NIAID. With promising research results to date, we look forward to advancing this DNA vaccine against HIV into clinical studies,” stated Dr. Sardesai.
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