The Promise of DNA Vaccines
When genetic immunization was first developed in the 1990’s, it was heralded as the proverbial “silver bullet” of vaccines. Early animal studies showed very promising results due to the activation of both cellular and humoral immune responses. Unfortunately, however, human immune responses did not match the immune responses produced in animal models. Further study indicated that insufficient DNA delivery was a major reason for the difference in human and animal responses.
The Inovio Approach
Inovio is a pharmaceutical company that develops DNA delivery technology and DNA vaccines. With offices in both Blue Bell, PA and San Diego, CA, they are developing DNA vaccines for various cancers and infectious diseases including HPV, Influenza, Leukemia, and Hepatitis C.
How VGXI Helped
Inovio is also a world leader in electroporation technology. Their DNA delivery technology has been shown to enhance cellular uptake of DNA by up to 1000X. One thing that Inovio’s electroporation research has demonstrated is that “the highest dose of vaccine produced the best T-cell responses”. Because of this, they rely on VGXI exclusively to manufacture the plasmids for their DNA vaccine clinical programs. VGXI’s patented AIRMIX™ cell lysis technology is capable of producing plasmids with 10X less genomic contamination than conventional lysis methods – so pure plasmids made using this technology can be concentrated up to 15 mg/ml.