Inovio Pharmaceuticals Synthetic DNA Vaccine Protects Against HIV in Non-Human Primates
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: INO) announced today that novel data from a preclinical study of its SynCon™ DNA vaccine against HIV were published in two separate scientific journals. In vaccinated animals, the studies demonstrated Inovio's HIV vaccine's ability to harness the power of the immune system, generating unique immune system responses, significant antigen-specific T-cell responses, and protection from the virus. The results were published in two peer-reviewed journals in papers co-authored by researchers from Inovio and its academic collaborators: Vaccine published a paper entitled "Immunogenicity of a novel engineered HIV-1 clade C synthetic consensus-based envelope DNA vaccine"; PLoS One published the paper "Long-term programming of antigen-specific immunity from gene expression signatures in the PBMC of rhesus macaques immunized with an SIV DNA vaccine."
In the first study, the investigators generated a synthetic, optimized DNA vaccine encoding for a novel HIV envelope clade C protein utilizing Inovio's SynCon™ vaccine design process. Further optimization processes were conducted including codon/RNA optimization, and addition of a Kozak sequence and IgE leader sequence to enhance the expression of the vaccine in humans. Developing a vaccine for clade C is considered to be a very high priority since this clade or sub-type of HIV virus is most prevalent in many parts of Africa, India, and China. When assessed in rigorous tests, this vaccine construct generated robust and high levels of T cell responses that were up to three times greater than T cell responses from other comparable DNA vaccine constructs targeting HIV envelope. Two phase I human studies will test the immunogenicity of this vaccine in human volunteers in the U.S. and in Africa.
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