Healthcare Industry News: Head and Neck Cancer
News Release - May 15, 2006
Inovio Acquires Intellectual Property Rights to Augment Patent Estate for Electroporation-Assisted DNA DeliverySAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--May 15, 2006--Inovio Biomedical Corporation (AMEX:INO ) announced today that it has acquired, under a license with Sphergen SARL, rights to several patent families relating to the use of electroporation technology. The rights Inovio has licensed include two patents with broad claims regarding electroporation of nucleic acids in muscle (U.S. Patent No. 6,939,862) and tumor tissue (U.S. Patent No. 6,528,315). This intellectual property acquisition enhances the breadth of Inovio's patent portfolio directed to the use of electroporation technology to deliver therapeutic biopharmaceuticals. The license also includes grants of rights to know how, future improvements, and provisions for exclusivity in applications to human medicine.
Inovio's seminal 1993 patent for electroporation, U.S. Patent No. 5,273,525, was pioneering with respect to the use of needle electrodes for gene and drug delivery in human applications including DNA vaccination in muscle and other tissues. Inovio has since continued to expand its position by acquiring additional patents covering electroporation-assisted delivery of genes in muscle tissue, which is now being studied as a primary target tissue for delivering DNA-based therapies.
Considering the license with Sphergen, Inovio not only controls more US patents dealing with electroporation subject matter, but also the broadest claim set for the major wave forms and voltage conditions shown so far to be critical to operating in the field of DNA delivery in muscle, tumor and other human tissues. Importantly, Inovio's patent acquisitions are increasing the enforceable life of its patented technology. Based on the evolution to date of the potential use of electroporation technology as a therapy to treat cancer and other indications, control over these patents is providing Inovio and its partners with the latitude to develop and use electroporation-assisted delivery methodologies with optimal performance, selectivity and medical benefit for a wide array of potential DNA-based therapeutics.
"Inovio's patent portfolio is a significant asset to facilitate the commercialization of DNA therapeutics delivered using electroporation, particularly in muscle tissue. Such therapeutics include DNA vaccines, which are increasingly recognized as having tremendous potential to treat or prevent a range of conditions such as infectious diseases and cancers," said Avtar Dhillon, MD, CEO of Inovio Biomedical. "Inovio will continue to aggressively seek to enhance its patent estate and know-how in an effort to position the company as the essential partner in this field. We plan to continue to license our intellectual property to companies pursuing development of new DNA and drug-based therapies using electroporation-assisted delivery to muscle and other tissues."
About Sphergen SARL
Sphergen SARL (Evry Genopole, France) is a biotechnology company dedicated to research and development of gene delivery technology for companion animal and livestock applications.
About Inovio Biomedical Corporation
Inovio Biomedical Corporation is a late stage biomedical company focused on commercializing its proprietary Selective Electrochemical Tumor Ablation (SECTA) therapy. SECTA is designed to target a significant unmet clinical need: a local treatment for solid tumors, with selective killing of cancer cells while preserving surrounding healthy tissue. Inovio is moving its lead product, the MedPulser®, through pre-marketing studies for Head and Neck Cancer and skin cancers in Europe, where it has CE Mark accreditation, a U.S. Phase III pivotal study for Head and Neck Cancer, and Phase I trials for pancreatic and breast cancer. Merck, Vical, University of Southampton, and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center are using Inovio's gene delivery technology in clinical studies of novel DNA therapeutics delivered using electroporation. Inovio is a leader in developing human therapeutic applications of electroporation, with the industry's most extensive patent portfolio covering in vivo electroporation. More information is available at www.inovio.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our plans to develop and commercialize our electroporation drug and gene delivery technology. For example, our expectations concerning the significance of our patent portfolio and its enhancement by the addition of the license discussed in this press release as a means of facilitating commercialization of DNA therapeutics delivered using electroporation therapy are forward looking statements. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations as a result of a number of factors, including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, which may not prove the viability of our technology as a safe or effective drug delivery mechanism at all or sufficient to obtain FDA and other requisite governmental approvals to commercialize our technology; the level of market acceptance of our technology; unexpected problems or side effects in therapeutics delivered using our technology (whether caused by the agents themselves or our technology); the assessment of our technology by potential corporate partners; competition from other existing or emerging technologies or products as more effective therapies than products developed from our technology; the potential obsolescence of our technology; prevailing capital market conditions and their effect on our ability to access capital as needed to continue development; the level of our corporate expenditures; and other factors set forth in the our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, our Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2006, and other SEC filings. There can be no assurance that any product in our product pipeline will be developed or manufactured successfully, or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products.
Source: Inovio Biomedical
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