Inovio Pharmaceuticals Licenses Non-DNA Vaccine Tumor Therapy Technology to OncoSec Medical
BLUE BELL, Pa., March 15, 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 that it has signed an agreement with OncoSec Medical Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ONCS.D) providing for the sale to OncoSec of certain non-DNA vaccine technology and intellectual property relating to electroporation technology useful for electrochemical and cytokine based immune therapies for treating solid tumors. OncoSec will pay Inovio an undisclosed purchase price for the assigned assets and cash fees and a royalty on commercial product sales.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio’s president and CEO, said: “As Inovio advances its leadership in the DNA vaccine field with several Phase II clinical studies for cervical dysplasia, leukemia, and hepatitis C virus therapies, we are pleased to enable third parties to commit their focus and resources to achieve the commercial potential of Inovio’s non-DNA vaccine assets. Prior clinical testing of our selective electrochemical tumor treatment and cytokine cancer therapies produced promising results and we are excited to monetize this electroporation asset for these applications and see its advancement by OncoSec. We wish the company every success in this endeavor.”
Mr. Punit Dhillon, OncoSec’s president and CEO, said: “We are excited to conclude this agreement with Inovio to acquire this promising technology for locally targeted cancer treatments, which have previously achieved important clinical outcomes, and immediately begin the implementation of our clinical development and commercialization plan. There are millions of people in the US alone who face detrimental cosmetic, functional and pain outcomes resulting from the invasive treatments used today for various skin and other cancers – in addition, the nature of current treatments results in high treatment and post-treatment costs to the medical system.”
The electroporation technology being sold and licensed to OncoSec is based on Inovio’s industry-leading electroporation technology platform that, in addition to DNA vaccines and immune therapeutics, can also be used to efficiently deliver a chemotherapeutic or cytokine agent for the treatment of cancer. When these chemotherapeutic or cytokine agents are injected into a selected treatment area such as a tumor and the predominantly healthy tissue in the margin surrounding a tumor, they have been shown to selectively and quickly destroy the tumor and cancer cells in the tumor margin. The chemotherapeutic agent acts by directly killing cancerous cells at the delivery site. Cytokine agents act by inducing broad, non-antigen specific immune responses that have been shown to kill cancerous cells. These therapies enable heightened concentrations of medicine to be directed to the cancer while reducing overall dosage and moderating or eliminating side effects associated with systemically-applied therapeutic approaches. This optimized delivery is enabled by Inovio’s proprietary electroporation process, which locally applies brief controlled electrical pulses to cells to temporarily and reversibly increase permeability of the cell membranes in selected tissue and dramatically increase cellular uptake of the previously injected agent as seen in previous animal studies and earlier human clinical trials.
About OncoSec Medical Inc.
OncoSec (OTC BB: ONCS.D), based in San Diego, California, designs, develops and commercializes innovative and proprietary medical approaches to treat solid tumor cancers with unmet medical needs or where currently approved therapies are inadequate based on their efficacy level or side effect profile. The company’s therapies are based on the use of electroporation delivery in combination with an approved chemotherapeutic drug or a cytokine agent to treat solid tumors. More information is available at www.oncosec.com.
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is developing a new generation of vaccines, called DNA vaccines, to treat and prevent cancers and infectious diseases. These SynCon(TM) vaccines are designed to provide broad cross-strain protection against known as well as newly emergent strains of pathogens such as influenza. These vaccines, in combination with Inovio’s proprietary electroporation delivery devices, have been shown to be safe and generate significant immune responses. Inovio’s clinical programs include three separate programs in Phase II clinical studies, including VGX-3100 for treating cervical dysplasia and cancer. Other Inovio clinical programs include those for avian flu (preventive) and HIV vaccines (both preventive and therapeutic). Inovio is developing universal influenza and other vaccines in collaboration with scientists from the University of Pennsylvania. Other partners and collaborators include Merck, ChronTech, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, University of Southampton, and PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. More information is available at www.inovio.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our business, including our plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and DNA vaccines and our capital resources. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of factors, including uncertainties inherent in pre-clinical studies, 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, that the studies or trials may not be successful or achieve the results desired, that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies and that results from an animal study may not be indicative of results achievable in human studies), the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of electroporation technology as a delivery mechanism or develop viable DNA vaccines, the adequacy of our capital resources, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by the company or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that the company and its collaborators hope to develop, evaluation of potential opportunities, issues involving product liability, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide the company 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 the company can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of the company’s technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, our ability to successfully integrate Inovio and VGX Pharmaceuticals, the impact of government healthcare proposals and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, our Form 10-Q for the nine months ended September 30, 2010, and other regulatory filings from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product in Inovio’s 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 proven accurate.
CONTACTS: Bernie Hertel, Inovio Pharmaceuticals 858-410-3101 Investors: firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Richardson, Richardson & Associates 805-491-8313 Media: email@example.com
SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.