Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that its HIV vaccine, PENNVAX®-GP, produced amongst the highest overall levels of immune response rates (cellular and humoral) ever demonstrated in a human study by an HIV vaccine. The vaccine candidate, PENNVAX-GP, consists of a combination of four HIV antigens designed to cover multiple global HIV strains and generate both an antibody (humoral) immune response as well as a T cell (cellular) immune response to both potentially prevent and treat HIV.
These preliminary results are from a study supported by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with Inovio.
This breakthrough data was presented at a plenary session at the 2017 HVTN Spring Full Group Meeting on May 23 in Washington, D.C. by the Protocol Co-Chair of the HVTN 098 study, Dr. Stephen De Rosa, Research Associate Professor, Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The HVTN 098 trial was the first clinical study of PENNVAX-GP. The randomized, placebo-controlled multi-center study enrolled 94 subjects (85 vaccine and 9 placebo) to characterize and optimize PENNVAX-GP immunization regimens delivered through vaccinations using either intramuscular or intradermal delivery.
Dr. De Rosa, said, “The preliminary results of HVTN 098 are remarkable for a number of reasons. In HVTN 098, nearly all individuals vaccinated with the regimens including IL-12 had detectable CD4 responses and over half had CD8 T cell responses. Similarly, the antibody response rate was 100% or close to 100% for several of the env antigens tested in the assay. Thus, these high response rates are exceptional. Further studies will be needed to determine if this vaccine candidate can safely and effectively prevent HIV infection.”
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio’s President & CEO, said, “These results are among the highest ever responses we’ve seen with an HIV vaccine, and they are remarkably consistent with our recent data reported from our Ebola, Zika and MERS clinical trials in terms of demonstrating nearly 100% vaccine response rates with very favorable safety profile. Furthermore, our newer and more tolerable intradermal vaccine delivery device showed that we can elicit very high immune responses at a much lower dose. We look forward to advancing PENNVAX-GP into later-stage clinical development with our partners and collaborators.”
Development of Inovio’s PENNVAX-GP immunotherapy, which widely targets multiple major clades of HIV — providing global coverage — has been funded through a $25 million NIAID contract previously awarded in 2009 to Inovio and its collaborators. In addition, Inovio and its collaborators were awarded an additional five-year $16 million Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development (IPCAVD) grant in 2015 from NIAID.