BLUE BELL, Pa., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: INO ), a leader in the development of synthetic vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today that the company's research to develop a therapeutic synthetic vaccine for cancer won the Edward Jenner Poster Award First Prize at the recent 5th Vaccine and ISV Global Congress. This prestigious prize recognizes the most promising research at the Congress. Inovio's poster, entitled "Induction of HPV specific CTLs in human volunteers after DNA immunization," was selected from over 500 abstracts by the scientific organizing committee and an expert panel of judges. The award citation highlighted Inovio's pioneering therapeutic cervical dysplasia/cancer vaccine program and the novel assay for determining vaccine impact.
The Vaccine Congress is a forum for a state-of-the-art report on the latest progress in the development of vaccines for infectious and non-infectious diseases. The annual Jenner Award is named after Edward Jenner (1749-1823), who is widely credited as the pioneer of the smallpox vaccine and is often referred to as the "Father of Immunology."
Inovio presented data showing the development of a novel flow cytometry-based assay to assess cytolytic T cell (CTL) activity in immunized patients. Blood samples collected from subjects immunized with Inovio's SynCon® therapeutic HPV 16 and 18 vaccine (VGX-3100) were analyzed by the new assay. Inovio previously announced the results of its Phase I clinical trial demonstrating the induction of strong T-cell immune responses to the vaccine. An important aspect of a therapeutic vaccine is its ability to generate antigen-specific cytolytic CD8+ T cells that can kill infected host cells. Using the new assay, Inovio scientists were able to demonstrate for the first time that the vaccines developed fully functional CTLs ca