Inovio awarded funding by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Officials with Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recently announced that the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative has agreed to provide additional funding for the development of a malaria DNA vaccine candidate in non-human primates.

In a prior MVI-funded study, Inovio’s malaria vaccine candidate induced immunity for four pre-erythrocytic malaria antigens. In the upcoming non-human primate study, the DNA vaccine platform will be delivered using electroporation delivery technology.

Dr. Christian Loucq, director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, said that malaria continues to present a major healthcare challenge in the developing world.

Development of an effective vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite which causes malaria, has been difficult because the parasite undergoes several stages of development during its life cycle and presents different potential target antigens at each stage as it passes through its human and mosquito hosts.

Inovio’s vaccine candidate targets the pre-erythrocytic stage of the parasite.

“MVI seeks to accelerate the development of malaria vaccines and we are pleased to continue working with Inovio’s novel DNA vaccine platform and its malaria vaccine approach.” Loucq said.

Inovio president and CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim said he looks forward to continuing work with MVI.

“Inovio’s proprietary DNA vaccine technology platform has once again induced strong immune responses for a disease with unmet treatment needs — in this case, malaria,” Kim said. “We recently announced best-in-class immunogenicity data from our clinical trial for our HPV/cervical cancer DNA vaccine using the same technology platform. We appreciate MVI’s shared enthusiasm and commitment to advance the application of this next-generation vaccine technology against this challenging disease.”