Inovio receives grant for intradermal electroportation vaccine delivery system

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a developer of preventative vaccines against infectious diseases, has received a grant from the Department of Defense to test a system that delivers DNA vaccines by intradermal electroportation simultaneously to different body parts.  

The grant is part of the Small Business Innovation Research Grant program. The prototype device might have the ability to rapidly vaccinate against multiple emerging infectious diseases or pandemic threats like the Lassa and Hantaan viruses, which are both on the department’s list of potential biological threats.

The purpose of the system is to stop the immune interference that can sometimes result from the combination of vaccines that are formulated together. By delivering vaccines using in vivo electroportation, the vaccines use the skin to develop a broad immune response to antigens.

"This device would provide a means to painlessly deliver multiple vaccines simultaneously, bringing improved protection against infectious diseases to both military and civilian populations,” Dr. J. Joseph Kim, the president and CEO of Inovio, said. “This collaboration builds on Inovio's strong relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense, in which Inovio is bringing medical innovation to multiple bio-defense projects."

The final testing of the process will involve the delivery of the Lassa and Hantaan virus vaccines at distinct sites on the body. The two DNA vaccines tend to work well individually but they lose potency when combined.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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