Inovio Awarded up to $56 Million from CEPI to Advance DNA Vaccines Against Lassa Fever and MERS

Milestones :: Perspectives

Inovio Awarded up to $56 Million from CEPI to Advance DNA Vaccines Against Lassa Fever and MERS
Major investment by Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to advance vaccine development and manufacturing on two of CEPI’s highest priority infectious diseases
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (USA) and OSLO, Norway – April 11, 2018 – Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) and CEPI – the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations — today announced a partnership under which Inovio will develop vaccine candidates against Lassa fever and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

CEPI will fund up to $56,000,000 to support Inovio’s pre-clinical and clinical advancement through Phase 2 of INO-4500, its Lassa fever vaccine, and INO-4700, its MERS vaccine. The shared goal of Inovio and CEPI is for the Lassa and MERS vaccines to be available as soon as possible for emergency use.

This is the second company agreement CEPI has signed since its launch in 2017. These partnerships represent an innovative approach to funding vaccine development, unlocking research and development potential so that vaccines are ready for efficacy studies during an outbreak. The agreement will enable funding for Inovio’s development efforts over a five-year period. The partnership agreement also includes options, not counted in the total above, to establish investigational stockpiles of both vaccines….

Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI said: “Epidemics don’t respect borders; they destroy lives and devastate economies and we need to move swiftly to prepare for them. “Partnering with Inovio is a considerable move forward for CEPI’s vaccine portfolio and developing a global insurance policy against these diseases.”

CEPI’s funding will support development up to the end of Phase 2, providing clinical safety and immunological data, and the establishment of investigational stockpiles that will be ready for clinical efficacy trial testing during outbreaks.

CEPI’s portfolio of investments will provide additional benefits to the wider vaccine community through the development of assays, reference standards and associated knowledge that may accelerate the development of other vaccines and medical counter measures against Lassa fever and MERS…

Inovio will develop these DNA vaccines employing its ASPIRE™ (Antigen SPecific Immune REsponses) platform. This platform delivers optimized synthetic antigenic genes into cells, where they are translated into protein antigens that activate an individual’s immune system to generate robust targeted T cell and antibody responses. Inovio’s immunotherapies function exclusively in vivo, and have generated an antigen-specific immune response against targeted diseases in all clinical trials to date…

Inovio is advancing MERS and Lassa vaccines with the support of its collaborators: The Wistar Institute, Laval University, the NIH’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), VGXI/GeneOne Life Science and the International Vaccine Institute.