Inovio Biomedical Establishes Agreements with National Cancer Institute and International Aids Vaccine Initiative to Conduct Research Using Inovio's DNA Delivery Technology

Jul 24, 2007

SAN DIEGO, Jul 24, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Inovio Biomedical Corporation (AMEX:INO), focused on the development of DNA vaccines for cancers and infectious diseases and a novel alternative to surgery to treat localized cancers, announced today its wholly-owned subsidiary, Genetronics, Inc., has entered into separate collaboration agreements with two internationally recognized research organizations, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), to evaluate Inovio's electroporation technology for the delivery of DNA vaccines. Inovio's DNA delivery systems are designed with the aim of enhancing the potency of DNA-based immunotherapies and vaccines against infectious diseases and cancers.

The collaboration with the NCI is being conducted under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) and will assess novel HIV constructs in non-human primates, cytokine genes as vaccine adjuvants (immune system stimulants), and possibly anticancer therapies delivered using Inovio's electroporation-mediated DNA delivery technology. The work will be performed in collaboration with Drs. George Pavlakis and Barbara Felber of the NCI's Frederick, MD, facility.

Inovio's collaboration with IAVI will focus on optimizing HIV vaccine design. Experimental HIV vaccines will be screened in preclinical models to select the most efficacious design to advance to clinical testing. The work will be conducted at IAVI's AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory in Brooklyn, NY, using Inovio's proprietary technology.

Avtar Dhillon, MD, Inovio's CEO, stated, "Inovio continues to expand its partnerships with leading corporate, academic and governmental organizations interested in developing gene-based vaccines. We are encouraged that renowned medical organizations like the NCI and IAVI have recognized the potentially enabling capabilities of our DNA delivery technology and chosen to collaborate with us in these medically significant disease areas."

About National Cancer Institute (NCI)

The NCI is the US Government's principal agency for cancer research and training, including a requirement to assess the incorporation of state-of-the-art cancer treatments into clinical practice. The NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and continuing care of cancer patients and families of cancer patients.

The NCI has a long-standing tradition of strength in retroviruses, due to their importance to cancer research. This tradition has carried over into AIDS research, and there are currently more than 20 research groups within the NCI and contract laboratories that devote at least part of their effort to the study of HIV. The studies currently underway range from basic research into how the virus interacts with its host cell to vaccine development and drug discovery.

About International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

The IAVI is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 24 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, The John D. Evans Foundation, The New York Community Trust, the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Starr Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Basque Autonomous Government as well as the European Union; multilateral organizations such as The World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Continental Airlines, Google Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer Inc; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Until There's A Cure Foundation; other private donors such as The Haas Trusts; and many generous individuals from around the world. For more information, see www.iavi.org.

About Inovio's Immunotherapy Products

DNA-based immunotherapy products have the potential to by-pass inherent scientific obstacles of conventional vaccines that prevent their development for cancer and chronic infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. Pre-clinical data has indicated the potential ability of Inovio's technologies to safely and effectively deliver and significantly enhance the potency of such immunotherapies.

Inovio's DNA-based immunotherapy products consist of DNA plasmids and the Elgen and MedPulser DNA delivery systems. DNA plasmids are designed to express antigens that can induce an immune response specific to a cancer or infectious disease-causing organism. These plasmids are created synthetically and readily manufactured using well-established bacterial fermentation and purification technology. After a plasmid is delivered into muscle or tumor cells, production of the desired antigens may then induce a preventive or therapeutic immune response against the targeted disease. Inovio's advanced electroporation devices facilitate delivery and expression of these plasmid DNA-based immunotherapeutics and have been shown in primate studies and/or interim Phase I data to significantly enhance antibody and T-cell immune responses over plasmid DNA delivered by other methods, suggesting the potential to provide a better protective or therapeutic effect against complex infectious diseases as well as cancers.

Inovio is poised to deliver advanced DNA-based immunotherapies, devices and know-how in this rapidly advancing field. The company is actively licensing its technology to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and supporting early stage clinical studies arising from its own research efforts or through academic collaborations.

About Inovio Biomedical Corporation

Inovio Biomedical (AMEX:INO) is focused on developing multiple DNA-based immunotherapies and commercializing its Selective Electrochemical Tumor Ablation (SECTA) therapy. Inovio is a leader in developing human applications of electroporation, which uses brief, controlled electrical pulses to increase cellular uptake of a useful biopharmaceutical. In the case of DNA vaccines, Inovios technology has shown it can significantly increase levels of gene expression and immune response. Inovios immunotherapy partners include Merck, Wyeth, Vical, University of Southampton, Moffitt Cancer Center, and the U.S. Army, with four DNA-based immunotherapies in Phase I clinical studies. The SECTA therapy for locally treating solid tumors is designed to selectively kill cancerous cells and minimize cosmetic or functional detriments often caused by surgical removal of predominantly healthy tissue typically treated around a tumor. Inovios technology is protected by an extensive patent portfolio covering in vivo electroporation. 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 results referenced in this release may not be indicative of results achievable from testing in humans and that results from one study may necessarily not 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 Inovios 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, 2006, our 10-Q for the three months ending March 31, 2007, and other regulatory filings. There can be no assurance that any product in our product pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products.

Contacts

Inovio Biomedical Corporation
Bernie Hertel (Investor Relations), 858-410-3101
or
Jeff Richardson (Media Relations), 805-491-8313

Stay informed:

Email Address *


*Required Fields