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Oct 19, 2006

Inovio Biomedical Receives Grant for its Gene Delivery System for Vaccinations Against Infectious Diseases

  • Inovio Biomedical will receive an appropriation of $1.1 million from the DoD to develop applications of its electroporation-based gene delivery technology for vaccination against infectious diseases, including potential bioterrorism agents.

    Inovio’s gene delivery system for gene-based immunization uses intramuscular electroporation to enhance the cellular delivery and expression of the DNA agents to produce the desired antigens. Compared to conventional vaccines, DNA vaccines delivered using electroporation may accelerate the onset and enhance the level of immunity generated, Inovio explains. Pertinent genes can be quickly identified and isolated from potential infectious organisms, sequenced, and synthesized for vaccination of the general population or military to induce a protective immune response, the company adds.

    The U.S. Congress appropriated the funding in the Defense Appropriations Bill for 2007. It is a continuation of prior funding from the U.S. Army, focussing on the development of a more effective gene delivery system for gene-based vaccines.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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