Hepatitis C Therapeutic DNA Vaccine Delivered by Inovio Biomedical's Electroporation Technology Reduces Viral Load by Up to 99.7%

Clinical Data Presented at Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inovio Biomedical Corporation (AMEX:INO), a leader in enabling the development of DNA vaccines using electroporation-based DNA delivery, announced today that its partner, Tripep AB, reported positive additional interim results from its ongoing phase I/II clinical study of its therapeutic DNA vaccine against hepatitis C virus (HCV). This vaccine is being delivered using Inovio’s electroporation-based DNA delivery system. In the third and highest dose cohort of the study, two of three subjects demonstrated reductions in viral load of 93% and 99.7%. Previously reported middle dose cohort results demonstrated an 87% and 98% reduction in HCV in two of three subjects, while no anti-viral effect was observed in the low dose cohort. No safety issues have been noted to date in the trial. These data suggest a potential dose response of the vaccine and support the inclusion of three additional subjects in the high dose cohort.

These data where presented by Dr. Matti Sällberg of Tripep at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting held in San Francisco.

Avtar Dhillon, MD, Inovio's president and CEO, stated: “We continue to be encouraged by the data flowing out of the ChronVac-C study. This promising DNA vaccine candidate, in which Inovio has an ownership position, is one of the more advanced clinical vaccine candidates in the HCV field. ChronVac-C was designed to play a role as a first-line therapy or as an adjunct to existing therapies.”

About ChronVac-C

ChronVac-C® is a therapeutic DNA-based vaccine given to individuals already infected with the hepatitis C virus with the aim of clearing the infection from the liver by boosting the body’s immune response against the virus. Inovio's electroporation technology is being used to deliver the vaccine and is intended to enhance the potency of the DNA vaccine. This clinical study is being conducted at the Infectious Disease Clinic and Center for Gastroenterology at the Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge and Solna, respectively, in Sweden. The intended enrollment of 12 patients is being divided into four groups, three with increasing doses of ChronVac-C and the fourth at the maximum tolerable dose. Each patient receives four vaccinations one month apart. After the last vaccination, patients are followed for another six months. The study's main purpose is to assess safety. It is also testing whether the treatment boosts the immune response (immunogenicity) to HCV and its effect on virus replication in the liver.

About Inovio Biomedical Corporation

Inovio Biomedical is focused on developing DNA vaccines for cancers and infectious diseases using its novel method for DNA delivery – electroporation – which uses brief, controlled electrical pulses to increase cellular uptake of useful biopharmaceuticals. Initial human data has shown that Inovio’s electroporation-based DNA delivery technology can significantly increase gene expression and immune responses from DNA vaccines. Immunotherapy partners include Merck, Wyeth, Vical, University of Southampton, Moffitt Cancer Center, the U.S. Army, National Cancer Institute, and International Aids Vaccine Initiative. Inovio’s technology is protected by an extensive patent portfolio covering in vivo electroporation. The company has entered into a definitive merger agreement with VGX Pharmaceuticals. More information is available at www.inovio.com.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our plans to develop our electroporation drug and gene delivery technology. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations as a result of a number of factors, including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs (including, but not limited to, the fact that pre-clinical and clinical results referenced in this release may not be indicative of results achievable in other trials or for other indications and that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies), the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of Inovio’s technology as a delivery mechanism, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by Inovio or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that Inovio and its collaborators hope to develop, evaluation of potential opportunities, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide Inovio with meaningful protection from others using the covered technologies, whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity and whether Inovio can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of our technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, our 10-Q for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 and other regulatory filings from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product in our product pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products, or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proved accurate.

Contacts
Investors:
Inovio Biomedical
Bernie Hertel, 858-410-3101
or
Media:
Ronald Trahan Associates Inc.
Ron Trahan, 508-359-4005, x108
At A Glance
Inovio Biomedical Corporation
Headquarters:  San Diego, California 
Website: http://www.inovio.com 
CEO:  Avtar Dhillon, MD 
Employees:  35 
Ticker:  INO  (AMEX) 
Revenues:  . (2004) 
Net Income:  . (2004) 
Source: via Business Wire
Updated   04/01/2005   by company
 

Posted: November 2008

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