Healthcare Industry News: head and neck cancer
News Release - October 17, 2006
Inovio Biomedical Acquires Rights to DNA Vaccine Licenses and Intellectual Property from ValentisSAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Inovio Biomedical Corporation (AMEX:INO ), a late stage developer of oncology therapies and DNA vaccines using electroporation to deliver drugs and nucleic acids, announced today it has acquired from Valentis, Inc. (Nasdaq:VLTS ) certain DNA delivery and expression assets, including Valentis' DNAvax® polymer delivery system and GeneSwitch® gene regulation technology, and rights under existing license agreements with IDM Pharma Inc., Innogenetics and Pharmexa AS. Innogenetics and Pharmexa are currently conducting separate Phase I clinical trials of DNA vaccines using the DNAvax® polymer delivery system. The acquisition enhances Inovio's overall gene delivery platform with the addition of complementary technology and increases the number of gene-based therapeutics under clinical evaluation by licensees using Inovio gene delivery technology from four to six.
In addition to the DNAvax® polymer delivery system and GeneSwitch® gene regulation technology, Inovio has acquired a number of cationic lipid and certain gene expression technologies. Valentis has also agreed to assign to Inovio rights under existing GeneSwitch® license agreements with Berlex Biosciences, a division of Schering AG, GlaxoSmithKline, Organon, Lexicon, Senomyx, Wyeth, Genzyme and Invitrogen.
The price paid by Inovio for these rights and technology was $860,000, of which $300,000 was offset by the cancellation of an outstanding debt Valentis owed to Inovio relating to a 2001 license agreement between the parties. Inovio expects that revenue from the GeneSwitch licenses and milestone payments from licensees of the DNAvax technology to contribute to its cash flow.
"The addition of DNA biologics to Inovio's assets expands our delivery technology platform beyond devices and should further assist our partners in their development of medical applications based on electroporation technology," said Avtar Dhillon, M.D., president and CEO of Inovio. "In the case of the GeneSwitch® technology, the advantages of regulating gene expression following electroporation should be attractive in a number of ways to existing and future licensees. We view this as the first in a number of value enhancements to be included in our electroporation tool box."
About Inovio Biomedical Corporation
Inovio Biomedical Corporation is a late stage biomedical company focused on commercializing its proprietary Selective Electrochemical Tumor Ablation (SECTA) therapy and its delivery platform for gene-based treatments. SECTA is designed to target a significant unmet clinical need: providing 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 a Phase I trial for breast cancer. Merck, Vical, University of Southampton and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center are conducting clinical studies of novel gene-based therapeutics delivered using Inovio's electroporation-based technology. 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 forward-looking statements relating to Inovio's expectations in developing its electroporation drug and gene delivery and regulation technologies, and other DNA biologics. 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, including, but not limited to: the lack of any assurances that the license rights and technology acquired by Inovio that are the subject of this press release or any other or future acquisitions will provide, or result in the development of, any products that provide, material revenues to Inovio, provide meaningful assistance to Inovio or its collaborators in their product development efforts or will otherwise enable Inovio or its collaborators to develop or commercialize successfully any therapeutic agents or devices; the potential unavailability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of Inovio's technology as a delivery mechanism or as therapeutic agents; 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, treatment or device that Inovio or its collaborators hope to develop; uncertainties involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide Inovio with meaningful protection from others using the covered technologies; whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity and whether Inovio can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them; the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of Inovio's technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators; capital market conditions adversely affecting Inovio's ability to raise funds needed to finance product development; and other factors set forth in Inovio's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, its Form 10-Q for the six months ended June 30, 2006, and its other regulatory filings. There can be no assurance that any product in Inovio' product pipeline or which Inovio may otherwise acquire or license will be successfully developed or manufactured, or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market the products.
Source: Inovio Biomedical
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