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Inovio Expands Ebola Vaccine Trial INO

Source: The Life Sciences Report  (8/24/16)

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO:NASDAQ) has expanded the Phase 1 trial of its Ebola vaccine to include an additional 125 healthy subjects. This, according to Maxim Group analyst Jason Kolbert, will help the company determine an "optimal" strategy for intradermal (skin) vaccination.

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"In the first part of the study [with 75 patients], the cohort receiving two doses via intradermal (vs. intramuscular) vaccination, 13/13 subjects produced strong anti-ebola antibody responses. The second stage of the study will evaluate number of doses, lower doses and a combination with DNA-based IL-12," Kolbert wrote in an Aug. 11 research report.

"The intradermal approach is also being evaluated for Inovio's Zika vaccine, now in a human study," Kolbert wrote.

While Kolbert acknowledges that Inovio's Ebola, Zika and MERS programs continue to make progress, "our focus remains on VGX-3100 and the start of the pivotal program, hopefully by YE16." VGX-3100 targets cervical dysplasia.

On Aug. 16, Inovio announced it had licensed a veterinary vaccine for foot and mouth disease (FMD) to South Korean firm Plumbline Sciences. "Plumbline will fund all development activities for this FMD vaccine," Inovio's press release states. Inovio will receive "milestone payments" and royalties on sales in Asia, excluding Japan, according to the release.

The licensing agreement, Inovio's second with Plumbline, enables the company to "focus on human immunotherapies to fight cancers and infectious diseases, we want to monetize non-core assets," according to CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim.

Inovio has also released its Q2/16 financial results; details are available here.

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