BLUE BELL, Pa., April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Inovio
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex:
INO), a leader in the development of therapeutic and preventive
vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today
it has signed a collaboration agreement with Transgene S.A.
(Euronext Paris: FR0005175080) and ChronTech Pharma AB (CTEC.ST) to
evaluate a novel therapeutic vaccination strategy against genotype
1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a phase I clinical study.
It is common to follow an initial “prime” vaccination with a
“boost” of the same vaccine to achieve the required level and
durability of immune protection. In this collaboration, the
strategy is to use different prime and boost vaccines with the goal
of obtaining a clinical effect by inducing different immune
responses. A Phase I study, to be started later this year, will use
ChronTech’s ChronVac-C® plasmid DNA vaccine delivered by in
vivo electroporation using Inovio’s Medpulser® DDS as the
“prime” and Transgene’s therapeutic vaccine TG4040, a modified
vaccinia Ankara (MVA), as the “boost”.
DNA based vaccines delivered using electroporation and MVA based
vaccines have been separately shown to be safe and immunogenic in
clinical studies. The ChronVac-C DNA vaccine delivered by in
vivo electroporation using the Medpulser was recently reported
to be safe and generate antigen specific immune responses and
antiviral effects in a phase I/IIa clinical trial. Rapid virologic
responses were seen in 5 out of 7 of the patients receiving a
post-vaccination standard of care interferon-ribavirin therapy.
TG4040 was itself shown to be safe and immunogenic in a phase I
program. Phase II studies in combination with the standard of care
are ongoing for both products. In preclinical studies, the novel
combination of these DNA and MVA vaccine approaches demonstrated
greater immune responses than those obs