Inovio Pharmaceuticals has acquired worldwide rights (excluding China) for early preclinical therapies addressing Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis based on the academic research of Dr. Bin Wang, a professor at Fudan University's Shanghai Medical College, who worked closely with Dr. David Weiner at the University of Pennsylvania. Inovio will make clinical and regulatory milestone payments to the University.
These newly licensed technologies are based on patent-protected and published discoveries from Wang and Weiner, who found a novel way to generate inducible regulatory T cells, or iTreg. iTreg cells are involved in shutting down immune responses after they have successfully eliminated invading organisms, and also in preventing autoimmunity or inflammatory diseases. In multiple preclinical studies, this approach generated CD25-iTreg in an antigen-specific manner.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's president and CEO, said, "Acquiring these early-stage technologies is just another step in our ultimate goal of controlling the immune system to fight diseases in a more safe and effective manner using Inovio's immune engineering platform. Our therapeutic cancer vaccines in the clinic are designed to properly activate and direct T cells to kill cancer cells. These new candidates are designed to do the opposite by shutting down unwanted and aberrant T cell responses that cause autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. These new technologies give us the potential to go after these important disease targets."