Inovio Biomedical Awarded Grant from Pennsylvania Department of Health for Hepatitis C Virus DNA Vaccine Research

Inovio and collaborators receive $2.8 million grant

BLUE BELL, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Inovio Biomedical Corporation (NYSE Amex: INO), a leader in DNA vaccine design, development and delivery, announced today that the company and its collaborators from Drexel University, Cheyney University, and the University of Pennsylvania have received a $2.8 million grant to develop a DNA vaccine to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The grant will fund pre-clinical studies to test the safety and effect on the immune system of Inovio’s novel vaccines designed to treat persons who are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus and have not responded to currently available therapies. Persons with chronic HCV infection face an increased risk of developing hepatocellular cancer, a difficult-to-treat cancer with a poor prognosis.

“HCV is a major global health problem, with over 170 million people infected worldwide. As a global leader in therapeutic cancer vaccine development, we are pleased to receive this grant support from the state. We are equally thrilled to work with such a stellar group of collaborators to develop a new generation of therapeutic vaccines for HCV,” stated Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President and CEO.

"These grants will support research on ways to improve the prevention and treatment of critical health problems facing Pennsylvanians," said Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Everette James. "This announcement also reaffirms Pennsylvania's continued commitment to use tobacco settlement dollars to improve the health of its citizens."

These competitive grants focus on specific research priorities established by the Health Research Advisory Committee. These grants are awarded as part of the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program (CURE), which supports clinical, health services and biomedical research.

More information on the use of tobacco settlement funds can be found at www.health.state.pa.us/cure.

About Inovio Biomedical Corporation

Inovio Biomedical is focused on the design, development, and delivery of a new generation of vaccines, called DNA vaccines, to prevent and treat cancers and infectious diseases. The company’s SynCon™ technology enables the design of “universal” vaccines capable of protecting against multiple – including newly emergent, unknown – strains of pathogens such as influenza. Inovio’s proprietary electroporation-based DNA vaccine delivery technology has been shown by initial human data to safely and significantly increase gene expression and immune responses. Inovio’s clinical programs include HPV/cervical cancer (therapeutic), avian flu, and HIV vaccines. Inovio is developing its universal and avian influenza vaccines in collaboration with scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, the National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center. Other partners and collaborators include Merck, Tripep, University of Southampton, National Cancer Institute, and HIV Vaccines Trial Network. More information is available at www.inovio.com.

This press release contains, in addition to historical information, forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on management’s current estimates and expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Inovio is providing this information as of the date of this press release, and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this press release.

Forward-looking statements in this press release include, without limitation, express and implied statements relating to Inovio’s business, plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and DNA vaccines and pre-clinical and clinical studies. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including but not limited to: Inovio has a history of losses; all of Inovio’s potential human products are in research and development phases; no revenues have been generated from the sale of any such products, nor are any such revenues expected for at least the next several years; Inovio’s product candidates will require significant additional research and development efforts, including extensive preclinical and clinical testing; uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, including but not limited to the fact that pre-clinical and clinical results may not be indicative of results achievable in other trials or for other indications, that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies, that results from an animal study may not be indicative of results achievable in human studies, that clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, that the outcome of any clinical trial is uncertain and failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process, and that Inovio’s electroporation technology and DNA vaccines may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits in clinical trials; all product candidates that Inovio advances to clinical testing will require regulatory approval prior to commercial use, and will require significant costs for commercialization; the availability of funding; the ability to manufacture vaccine candidates; the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by Inovio or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that Inovio and its collaborators hope to develop; whether Inovio’s proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity; and the impact of government healthcare proposals. Readers are also referred to Inovio’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and other regulatory filings filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements.



CONTACT:

Investors:
Inovio Biomedical
Bernie Hertel
858-410-3101
[email protected]
or
Media:
Richardson & Associates
Jeff Richardson
805-491-8313
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Pennsylvania

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  AIDS  Biotechnology  Clinical Trials  Genetics  Infectious Diseases  Oncology  Pharmaceutical

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