Vical and NIH to evaluate enhanced-delivery HIV vaccine

Vical Incorporated today announced plans to develop and evaluate electroporation-enhanced delivery of therapeutic and preventive DNA vaccines against HIV under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Vaccine Research Center (VRC), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Vical has the option to secure exclusive commercialization rights to technology developed under the CRADA. The electroporation technology is licensed from Inovio Biomedical Corporation.

"We are eager to pursue the application of electroporation in a DNA vaccine setting, complementing our ongoing program with electroporation in gene-based cancer immunotherapy," said Vijay B. Samant, Vical's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our recent agreement with Merck & Co., Inc., for HIV vaccines, announced earlier today, allows us to proceed with the evaluation of this novel approach under our CRADA with the NIH. We are excited by the potential of this approach to increase the effectiveness of DNA vaccines against infectious diseases without compromising safety. The ability of the HIV pathogen to evade immune system defenses and the expanding global impact of AIDS disease warrant the simultaneous evaluation of multiple vaccine approaches."


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