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Inovio Expands Synthetic Vaccine Intellectual Property License with University of Pennsylvania

14-Nov-2012 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 5596
BLUE BELL, Pa. - Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced in a press release that it has expanded its existing license agreement with the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), adding worldwide rights to technology and Intellectual Property for novel synthetic vaccines against cancer, infectious diseases and potential biodefense pathogens. These technologies were developed by UPenn Professor David B. Weiner and collaborators. Dr. Weiner is a pioneer in the field of DNA vaccines, and chairman of Inovio's scientific advisory board. All newly licensed products are in preclinical development.

In the new agreement, Inovio gains rights to synthetic vaccines to prevent and/or treat: 

•Intestinal infections – Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, is an illness that most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long term care facilities, with symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It is responsible for more deaths than all other intestinal infections combined. Its incidence has doubled in the past 10 years.
•Cancer – new cancer therapeutic vaccines targeting Wilms' tumor gene or WT1. WT1 is highly expressed in leukemia and various types of solid tumors, making it an appropriate anti-cancer target for multiple types of cancers.
•Biodefense pathogens - includes the Ebola virus and the family of Filovirus such as Marburg - disease-causing agents that could potentially be used in bioterror attacks. 

Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President and CEO, said, "Our synthetic vaccine technology offers the potential to prevent and/or treat a broad array of cancers and infectious diseases, and has achieved best-in-class immune responses in human studies. This new intellectual property from an eminent synthetic vaccine research laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania broadens our opportunities to pursue important new infectious diseases, cancers and biodefense targets."

Under the terms of the original license agreement completed in 2007, Inovio obtained exclusive worldwide rights to develop multiple DNA vaccines with the potential to treat and/or prevent HIV, hepatitis C virus, HPV and related diseases, and influenza. In a subsequent amendment in 2010, the license was expanded to include pandemic influenza, Chikungunya, foot-and-mouth disease, and chemokine and cytokine molecular adjuvant technologies. Then in 2011, Inovio added an exclusive worldwide license for technology and intellectual property for novel DNA vaccines against prostate cancer, CMV (cytomegalovirus), malaria, hepatitis B, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), and a new optimized IL-12 cytokine gene adjuvant. These prior and most recent agreements and amendments provide for milestone payments, and royalty payments, based on sales, to the University of Pennsylvania. 

Inovio is revolutionizing vaccines to prevent and treat today's cancers and challenging infectious diseases. Its SynCon® vaccines are designed to provide universal cross-strain protection against known as well as newly emergent unmatched strains of pathogens such as influenza..
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