University of Southampton and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Initiate Phase 2 Clinical Study to Evaluate Leukemia DNA Vaccine Using Electroporation Delivery Technology
BLUE BELL, Pa., Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: INO), a leader in the development of therapeutic and preventive vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today the regulatory approval of a Phase 2 clinical trial (WIN Trial) to treat leukemia utilizing Inovio's new ELGEN 1000 automated vaccine delivery device. This open-label, multi-center clinical trial being run by the University of Southampton is evaluating a DNA vaccine to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. Financial support for the trial is being provided by the UK research charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research (LLR) and by the Efficacy and Mechanisms Evaluation (EME) programme (which is funded by the UK Medical Research Council and managed by the UK National Institute for Health Research). The DNA vaccine was developed at the University of Southampton with funding from LLR and the charity Cancer Research UK.
Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood that accounts for at least 300,000 new cases and 222,000 deaths worldwide each year - a very high death rate. Wilms' Tumor gene 1 (WT1) is highly associated with these types of cancer, which led the University of Southampton to design its leukemia DNA vaccine to target this antigen. Preclinical data from mice showed strong induction of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and the ability to kill human tumor cells expressing WT1. There have been several prior clinical studies in humans using parts of the WT1 gene, notably as peptide vaccine candidates, demonstrating the production of modest levels of CD8+ T-cell responses and measurable clinical responses, although both effects were transient. This will be the first study to combine DNA vaccination wit