Leading DNA vaccine discovery company, Inovio Biomedical Corporation announced that their Scientific Advisory Board Chairman, Dr. David B. Weiner, highlighted advances in the company’s leading electroporation-delivered SynCon™ DNA vaccines at the AIDS Vaccine 2009 Conference in Paris.

The study, led by Dr. Weiner’s team at the University of Pennsylvania, included collaborators from Inovio and Merck. The team previously reported that DNA vaccines delivered using electroporation induced dramatic increases in T-cell and antibody-based immune responses. This collaborative study was the first to directly compare a DNA plasmid-electroporation platform with a recombinant Ad5 vector in an SIV model in non-human primates.

Dr. Weiner presented pre-clinical data showing higher levels of immune responses induced by Inovio’s DNA vaccines than to those induced by the recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vector. Historically, recombinant Ad5 vector has been shown to be one of the most potent viral vectors for vaccines.

In his presentation, Dr. Weiner also discussed Inovio’s novel SynCon™ technology, which enables the company to design DNA-based vaccines with the potential to protect against unknown strains of pathogens such as HIV and influenza. Inovio’s SynCon™ PENNVAX™-B HIV vaccine, which targets clade B HIV strains that exist primarily in developed countries, has entered human clinical trials with the HIV Vaccines Trial Network under the HVTN-080 protocol.

Additionally, Dr. Weiner’s speech highlighted recently announced clinical immunology data from the low dose cohort of Inovio’s therapeutic cervical cancer DNA vaccine. He noted that the induction of strong cellular and antibody responses provided the first significant and robust demonstration of the potential of Inovio’s DNA vaccine approach.

Dr. J. Joseph Kim, president & CEO of Inovio, said, “We believe the comparative performance of our electroporation-based DNA vaccine products relative to other vaccination methods is proving to be exceptional. Based on the significant immune responses achieved in the first, low-dose group of our therapeutic cervical cancer clinical study, we look forward to the results of the second and third dose groups of this study and results from the PENNVAX™-B preventive HIV vaccine study. The development of these vaccines could transform the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. These are complex scientific challenges and we are pleased that results to-date are showing the potential of these programs.”