Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSEMKT:INO) entrenched in innovation
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSEMKT:INO) has announced that its DNA vaccine, SynCon, that contains multiple malaria-antigens demonstrated durable and strong T-cell immune and antibody responses in non-human primates and small animals. This vaccine is delivered via the company’s own electroporation device CELLECTRA. Now that the company had such solid results, it plans on initiating the Phase 1/11a clinical trial in 2014. These results have appeared in Infection and Immunity, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Microbiology. The paper that was presented had been authored by the company’s researchers and collaborators.
The WHO factor
The WHO estimated that in 2010 there had been over 200M cases of malaria and close to 700,000 deaths were caused by malaria infection. A majority of these affected small children in Africa. Currently, RTS.S which is an adjuvanted-recombinant protein vaccine is the most advanced vaccine available. However, it has not shown any substantial-protection in the key trail-age grope of infants. Scientists are of the opinion that if a more effective malaria vaccine is manufactured, it would be able to generate potent T-Cell immune and strong antibody responses.
Malaria killing properties
In this particular research, the INO’s researchers and collaborators designed a highly-optimized DNA vaccine that was made up of 4 liver-stage and sporozite malaria antigens using the company’s SynCon technology. These antigens had been chosen specifically because they played an important role in controlling and eliminating malarial infection. The T-cells that were produced by the vaccine exhibited the functional-ability to eliminate and kill malaria-infected cells.
Researchers also found “killer T-cells” or CD8+ in the liver. These are essential for eliminating liver-stage malaria parasites. The INO electroporation/Inovio DNA platform has demonstrated in some human and preclinical studies that it has the ability to induce potent immune-responses to multiple antigens. In this particular study, sustained and robust antibody responses to all the 4 malaria antigens had been observed which is a very strong indication that it will generate a preventive-response in humans.