PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases features Inovio’s Chikungunya DNA vaccine

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: INO), a leader in the development of novel therapeutic and preventive vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today the publication of a scientific paper highlighting positive results from Inovio's multi-antigen Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) DNA vaccine in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The paper, entitled "A DNA vaccine against Chikungunya virus is protective in mice and induces neutralizing antibodies in mice and nonhuman primates," authored by Inovio scientists and collaborators, describes the ability of the vaccine to induce robust antibody and T-cell immune responses and provide 100% protection of mice against a challenge with this tropical infectious disease. Additionally, vaccine studies in rhesus macaques demonstrated generation of strong neutralizing antibody responses which mimicked those observed in CHIKV-infected human patients who subsequently recovered from this disease. These results demonstrate the ability of Inovio's DNA vaccine to provide protection and protective immune responses in two different preclinical models.

“A DNA vaccine against Chikungunya virus is protective in mice and induces neutralizing antibodies in mice and nonhuman primates”

CHIKV is an emerging mosquito-borne virus indigenous to tropical Africa and Asia. Acute illness is characterized by fever, arthralgia (pain in a joint), conjunctivitis (eye inflammation), rash, and sometimes arthritis. Relatively little is known about the antigenic targets for immunity and no licensed vaccines or therapeutics are currently available. Considering the potential for pandemic spread, understanding the development of immunity is paramount to the development of effective vaccines against CHIKV.

In this study, the research team isolated CHIKV from an acutely infected human patient and used this newly isolated virus to develop a virus neutralization assay and a challenge stock. The CHIKV challenge stock was used to establish a mouse infection model and study disease development. The candidate CHIKV vaccine developed by the researchers and tested in the mouse and macaque models is a SynCon™ synthetic DNA vaccine consisting of a single consensus envelope construct that expresses all three of the CHIKV envelope glycoproteins (E3+E2+E1). The vaccine is delivered by in vivo electroporation.

Dr. J. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, said, "Inovio has been researching and developing novel vaccine candidates for several emerging infectious diseases with pandemic potential such as Chikungunya virus utilizing our potent DNA vaccine development platform. These published data suggest a protective role for antibodies against Chikungunya, a re-emerging health threat in both developing and developed countries, and support further development of Inovio's DNA vaccine for this disease."

SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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