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Inovio’s DNA-based Monoclonal Antibody Platform Achieves Further Proof-of-Principle Validation

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., July 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INO) today announced its DNA-based monoclonal antibody product for flu produced broadly cross-reactive antibodies that provided complete protection from a lethal challenge with multiple viruses from both influenza A and B types in a preclinical study. Results of this study in mice were published in the journal npj Vaccines in an article entitled “DNA Inoculation of Synthetic Cross-Reactive Antibodies Protects Against Lethal Influenza A and B Infections,” authored by Inovio and its collaborators.

Following on previously reported similar data from its dMAb® products for HIV, dengue, and Chikungunya, this study further validates the ability of Inovio’s dMAb technology platform to use encoded DNA plasmids to enable in vivo production of monoclonal antibodies and induce protective immune responses. The goal for this platform is to rapidly generate therapeutic monoclonal antibodies directly in the recipients. Such benefits are complementary to Inovio’s antigen-generating platform in terms of immune mechanism and short response times, and advantages that overcome conventional monoclonal antibodies’ long development lead times and complex manufacturing processes and costs.

Inovio’s dMAb products deliver DNA sequences that encode and directly result in the in vivo production of protective antibodies, unlike its DNA vaccines which attempt to incite the production of antibodies through the immune system. In the case of influenza and other infectious disease, a dMAb product may provide immediate and short term protection while a DNA vaccine may provide long term immune memory and protection. Both products can be encoded to provide cross-strain protection. Inovio’s influenza dMAb product was designed to provide cross-strain protection across two major sub-types of influenza, A and B. This approach would bypass the burdensome design and manufacturing approach for conventional monoclonal antibodies that make them less ideal for pandemic situations and would be desirable in their potential ability to offer prevention against unexpected changes of seasonal influenza strains.

“The annual flu vaccine matching process is not a perfect science, therefore in some flu seasons the vaccine available in the fall is much less effective,” said Dr. David B. Weiner, Executive Vice President and Director of the Vaccine and Immune Therapy Center at The Wistar Institute and the lead author of the study. “Flu occasionally can dramatically shift strains, resulting in a pandemic strain that requires a new strategy for developing a vaccine and leaving populations at risk of major health consequences. Furthermore, some vulnerable people may not respond well to vaccines and this new approach that is simple, rapid and can broadly protect against influenza would be a major step forward,” said Dr. Weiner, who is also a member of the...