Healthcare Industry News: Zostavax
News Release - January 5, 2010
Inovio Appoints Dr. Mark Bagarazzi as Chief Medical OfficerFormer Merck Director of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for Vaccines and Biologics Will Oversee Inovio’s Clinical and Regulatory Programs
SAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Inovio Biomedical Corporation (NYSE Amex: INO), a leader in DNA vaccine design, development and delivery, announced today that Mark L. Bagarazzi, M.D., has been appointed Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Bagarazzi will lead worldwide clinical development and regulatory activities for Inovio’s next-generation vaccines for the treatment and prevention of influenza, HIV, other infectious diseases and cancers.
He joins Inovio from Merck & Co., where he was director of worldwide regulatory affairs for vaccines and biologics. Dr. Bagarazzi led ongoing vaccine product and regulatory development of Merck’s Zostavax®, the leading vaccine for shingles. He was responsible for global regulatory activities related to Merck vaccine candidates for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. He also successfully led the regulatory process through to FDA approval of RotaTeq®, Merck’s vaccine against rotavirus.
Prior to joining Merck in 2001, he was director of the HIV/AIDS program for St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio, said: “Mark’s global expertise in advancing vaccines through clinical trials and regulatory approval processes will be invaluable to Inovio as we advance our DNA vaccines through human trials. His background represents a unique mix of medical and technological expertise that is highly relevant to Inovio’s proprietary DNA vaccines and delivery technology, and complementary to our existing management team and advisors.”
An expert in DNA vaccines, Dr. Bagarazzi was an assistant professor of pediatrics at Drexel College of Medicine and is a guest lecturer on vaccines and immunotherapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Previously, he had been a guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University. He holds several patents and has co-authored dozens of scientific papers, focused on the subject of DNA vaccines, that have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
He holds a BS in electrical engineering magna cum laude from New Jersey Institute of Technology and received his MD degree with honors from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
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) and HIV vaccines. An IND has been filed for an avian influenza vaccine. 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, 2008 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 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.
Source: Inovio Biomedical
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