Inovio signs collaborative research deals with Wistar Institute for DNA-based immunotherapies

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has signed collaborative research agreements (CRAs) with the Wistar Institute for preventive and therapeutic DNA-based immunotherapy applications and products for cancers and infectious diseases developed by David B. Weiner, Ph.D., and his Wistar laboratory.

Inovio will have the exclusive right to in-license new intellectual property developed in this collaboration.

Prior to his recent move to Wistar, the underlying technology for Inovio’s DNA-based products was first developed at Dr. Weiner’s UPenn laboratory. Inovio’s license agreements for intellectual property developed at the University of Pennsylvania will not be affected.

Inovio president and CEO Joseph Kim said: “This new agreement with Wistar starts a whole new chapter of Inovio’s R&D leadership in one of the most important emerging medical technologies: DNA-based immunotherapies. We congratulate Dr. Weiner with respect to his multiple new roles at Wistar and the significantly expanded lab and resources available to him to continue pursuing his life’s passion.

“We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with this eminent institution to continue advancing cutting edge DNA-based immunotherapies and DNA-based monoclonal antibody technology.”

The Wistar Institute has a storied tradition of accomplishment, global leadership, training and commercialization in the field of vaccines and immune therapies. Wistar science has achieved important health advances through the discoveries of vaccines against rubella, rotavirus, and rabies.

Wistar technology resulted in the creation of hepatitis A, varicella (chickenpox), and zoster (shingles) vaccines as well as breakthrough products for the diagnosis or treatment of autoimmune, heart, and other infectious diseases.

Dr. Weiner is a pioneer in the field of DNA immunotherapies and vaccines and a co-founder of VGX Pharmaceuticals, which became Inovio Pharmaceuticals through a corporate merger.

He serves on Inovio’s Board of Directors and is Chair of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Weiner recently retired from the University of Pennsylvania after 30 years.

As the Wistar Institute’s Executive Vice President and Director of its newly established Vaccine Center, Dr. Weiner will have the mandate and resources to significantly expand Wistar’s immunology research programs and apply translational expertise to bridge the gap between research and clinical application.

Furthermore, as the W. W. Smith Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and professor in Wistar’s Translational Tumor Immunology program, Dr. Weiner will contribute tumor immunology-focused research to bolster the ongoing work and mission of Wistar. The Institute led early research in monoclonal antibodies against inflammation and cancer. Dr. Weiner will continue this legacy with his pioneering work in DNA-based immunotherapies and monoclonal antibodies against infectious diseases and cancer.

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