Date: May 02, 2016 Source: Streetinsider.com (
click here to go to the source)
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) announced it has closed the transaction to acquire all of BioJect Medical Technologies Inc.'s assets, including pioneering needle-free jet injection technology, devices, and intellectual property, which it first announced in a definitive agreement on March 14, 2016. Inovio acquired BioJect for $4.3 million in Inovio common stock and $1.2 million in cash.
Inovio is advancing multiple novel cancer and infectious disease immunotherapies and vaccines as well as delivery devices to optimally administer them. Since administration of Inovio's products is a two-step process involving injection and electroporation delivery, it is also focused on enhancing ease and cost of administration to best serve clinical requirements. An integrated injection and electroporation device that eliminates needles and reduces disposable materials in an automated process would be a paradigm-changing step in vaccine administration in large populations.
Inovio has been developing needle-free electroporation technology that works on the surface of the skin. BioJect's needle-free jet injection technology uses high pressure gas or springs to propel liquid medicine into skin. Its devices have demonstrated favorable utility, safety, and tolerability attributes in animals and humans. Under a prior research agreement Inovio tested the two separate technologies together and generated compelling antigen expression and immune responses in animals. Inovio will now be combining the two technologies into one highly optimized integrated delivery device.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President and CEO, said, "Inovio's current electroporation devices are underpinning important immunotherapy and vaccine products with clear clinical development paths and commercial opportunities. Our CELLECTRA® 5PSP device for intramuscular immunotherapy delivery, with its recently finalized commercial design, will be used in our cervical dysplasia phase III study for VGX-3100. Our intradermal delivery device, which facilitated recently reported robust immune responses from our Ebola vaccine, will be used to advance other infectious disease vaccine clinical development programs including the one we are preparing for Zika.
"As we think long-term about broad market needs and new product opportunities, needle-free administration could help make potentially life-changing vaccines against critical infectious diseases more widely accessible globally. This newly acquired needle-free injection technology is an excellent addition in our product development vision and we look forward to fulfilling our vision for this optimized, highly automated needle-free delivery device."
Supporting the goal of non-invasive administration, the U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research program recently granted Inovio $500,000 to support the development of a needle-free, non-invasive skin-surface electroporation device for DNA vaccine delivery.