Inovio receives U.S. Army grant to develop needle-free vaccine method

U.S. Army’s SBIR program will issue Inovio Pharmaceuticals a $500,000 grant.
U.S. Army’s SBIR program will issue Inovio Pharmaceuticals a $500,000 grant.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals will receive a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Army’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The grant will be awarded for Inovio to develop a device that will allow the delivery of a vaccine without a needle.

“Inovio has already accomplished building its Cellectra 5PSP as a portable, fully automatic device for VGX-3100 and other cancer immunotherapies -- this is the device that would take us into commercialization,” Dr. Joseph Kim, Inovio president and CEO, said. “It is our further goal to advance and commercialize a needle and pain-free electroporation device to be used particularly for prophylactic vaccination. This new grant will move us closer to achieving this goal and enable us to target several important commercial infectious disease opportunities that will be well served by non-invasive vaccination.”

The U.S. Army is looking to develop a device that could rapidly give vaccines to U.S. troops that are stationed around the world and exposed to multiple diseases. The Army would also like to have a system that could protect large populations from pandemic outbreaks. The main benefit would be providing a vaccine rapidly, so large populations can be quickly protected.

The new device could be used to help deliver some of Inovio's innovative vaccines for diseases such as Ebola, HIV and MERS.

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc

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