The U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program awarded a $500,000 grant to Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ for the development of its next-generation vaccine delivery technology. Inovio officials say the device will be able to deliver multiple vaccines simultaneously through surface-level, needle-free electroporation. This grant comes as a follow-up to a previous $24 million option award from the U.S. Department of Defense to support the Inovio-led development of multiple treatment and prevention approaches against Ebola.
Inovio’s portfolio of vaccines includes formulations to protect against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Ebola, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus.
Inovio has already constructed the device, CELLECTRA® 5PSP, which is now advancing through the development and commercialization pipelines. Inovio officials say the company has been successful in generating safe and fully functional in vivo T cells with a killing capacity that correlates with relevant clinical outcomes.
Inovio’s previous funding deals include licensing agreements with MedImmune ($727.5M agreement) and Roche/Genentech (worth up to $422.5M) for their cancer immunotherapeutics. The company also had received funding from DARPA in 2014.