Inovio expands UPenn licensing agreement

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recently announced that it has expanded its existing licensing agreement with the University of Pennsylvania to cover synthetic vaccines against bioagents.

The biopharmaceutical has added global rights to technology and intellectual property related to its development of novel synthetic vaccines against bioterror agents, cancer and a variety of infectious diseases, according to

The synthetic vaccines in the agreement, all of which are in preclinical development, were developed by UPenn professor Dr. David B. Weiner and his colleagues. Weiner is also a member of Inovio's scientific advisory board and considered by some to be a pioneer in the field of DNA vaccines.

"Our synthetic vaccine technology offers the potential to prevent and/or treat a broad array of cancers and infectious diseases, and has achieved best-in-class immune responses in human studies," Dr. Joseph Kim, Inovio's president and CEO, said, reports. "This new intellectual property from an eminent synthetic vaccine research laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania broadens our opportunities to pursue important new infectious diseases, cancers and biodefense targets."

Under the terms of the agreement, Inovio gains the rights to synthetic vaccines against the Ebola virus and the entire family of Filovirus, such as the deadly Marburg.

The original vaccine agreement was completed in 2007 and subsequently amended in 2010 to include licenses for potential biodefense related pathogens such as pandemic influenza and foot-and-mouth disease.