Country for PR: United States
Contributor: PR Newswire New York
Wednesday, May 15 2019 - 23:00
Inovio and Plumbline Life Sciences Establish Animal Health Collaboration to Develop A Novel Vaccine Against Deadly African Swine Fever Virus
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. and SEOUL, South Korea, May 15, 2019 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) and Plumbline Life Sciences (XKRX: 
222670) today announced a collaboration to co-develop a novel animal health 
vaccine for African swine fever (ASF) virus. The vaccine will be developed 
using Inovio's SynCon(R) technology and delivered using CELLECTRA(R) 
efficacy-enabling devices. Plumbline, based in South Korea, will fund all 
development and commercialization of the ASF vaccine. Inovio and Plumbline 
already have a license partnership in animal health fields and Inovio currently 
holds an approximately 15% equity ownership in Plumbline. As part of this 
agreement, Inovio will construct and test the ASF vaccine in small animal 
models. Plumbline will further test the vaccine in larger animal models, 
including in pig challenge models and further develop to commercialize the 
vaccine. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of 
domestic and wild pigs, which is responsible for serious economic and 
production losses. There is no approved vaccine for ASF currently and the 
current outbreak in Asia is dramatically threatening the agricultural economies 
of many Asian countries including China, Vietnam and Korea. The disease is 
incurable in pigs but innocuous to humans.

Dr. Laurent Humeau, Inovio's Chief Scientific Officer, said "We are extremely 
pleased to apply Inovio's Synthetic Nucleics platform to develop a vaccine to 
combat this deadly pig virus. Inovio has a track record of developing novel 
emerging infectious disease vaccines and we are pleased to work with Plumbline 
to further test and commercialize an ASF vaccine."

Anthony K. Kim, President and CEO of Plumbline said, "Plumbline is very excited 
to collaborate with Inovio to advance a new vaccine for this horrible threat 
for animal health and agriculatural food supplies. Plumbline has a proven track 
record of commercializing DNA-based therapies for animal health as we have the 
distinction of having our product for pigs, LifeTide(R)SW5, already approved in 
Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. We will devote our full resources to 
commercialize a vaccine for ASF as rapidly as possible." 

The current official estimates count 1 million pigs have already been culled in 
China but the slaughter data suggest 100 times more could be removed from 
China's 440 million-strong swine herd in 2019. The U.S. Department of 
Agriculture forecast in April a decline in China of 134 million head -- 
equivalent to the entire annual output of American pigs -- and the worst slump 
since the department began counting China's pigs in the mid 1970s.

ASF virus, indigenous to Africa, infects only domestic and wild pigs and a 
species of soft ticks that transmits the disease. The disease emerged in Africa 
decades ago and have been detected among domestic and wild pigs in Europe. In 
2007, the viral disease appeared in the Republic of Georgia and spread through 
the Caucasus region, and then it eventually reached China in August 2018 and 
then Mongolia in January and Vietnam in February this year. Japan detected 
their first case of infectious ASF in late March. The strain of African swine 
fever spreading in Asia is highly lethal, killing virtually every pig it 
infects by a hemorrhagic illness reminiscent of Ebola in humans even though it 
not known to sicken people.

About Plumbline Life Sciences, Inc.

Plumbline Life Sciences, Inc., an animal biopharmaceutical company, focuses on 
companion animals. It develops deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based vaccines and 
therapies for animals using plasmid-based DNA delivery and expression 
technology by electroporation to optimize an animal's natural biological and 
immunological potential. The company's solutions include growth hormone 
releasing hormone (GHRH), a naturally occurring molecule; and an 
electroporation technology for delivering plasmids into skeletal muscle cells 
and skin. It offers products for dog cancer/anemia, equine laminitis, cat renal 
failure/anemia, dog renal failure/anemia, and swine GHRH. Plumbline Life 
Sciences, Inc. is based in Seoul, South Korea.

About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Inovio is an innovative biotechnology company focused on the discovery, 
development, and commercialization of its synthetic nucleic technology targeted 
against cancers and infectious diseases. Inovio's proprietary technology 
platform applies antigen sequencing and delivery to activate potent immune 
responses to targeted diseases. The technology functions exclusively in vivo, 
and has been demonstrated to consistently activate robust and fully functional 
T cell and antibody responses against targeted cancers and pathogens. Inovio's 
most advanced clinical program, VGX-3100, is in Phase 3 for the treatment of 
HPV-related cervical pre-cancer. Also in development are Phase 2 
immuno-oncology programs targeting HPV-related cancers, bladder cancer, and 
glioblastoma, as well as platform development programs in hepatitis B, Zika, 
Ebola, MERS, and HIV. Partners and collaborators include AstraZeneca, 
Regeneron, Roche/Genentech, ApolloBio Corporation, GeneOne Life Science, The 
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness 
Innovations, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Defense Advanced 
Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of 
Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Cancer Institute, HIV Vaccines Trial 
Network, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, The Wistar Institute, and the 
University of Pennsylvania. For more information, visit

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our 
business, including our plans to develop DNA-based immunotherapies, our 
expectations regarding our research and development programs, including the 
planned initiation and conduct of clinical trials and the availability and 
timing of data from those trials. Actual events or results may differ from the 
expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of factors, including 
uncertainties inherent in pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and product 
development programs, the availability of funding to support continuing 
research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of 
electroporation technology as a delivery mechanism or develop viable DNA 
vaccines, our ability to support our pipeline of SynCon(R) active immunotherapy 
and vaccine products, the ability of our collaborators to attain development 
and commercial milestones for products we license and product sales that will 
enable us to receive future payments and royalties, the adequacy of our capital 
resources, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies 
or treatments for the conditions targeted by us or our collaborators, including 
alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost effective than any therapy or 
treatment that we and our collaborators hope to develop, issues involving 
product liability, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to 
them will provide us with meaningful protection from others using the covered 
technologies, whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or 
infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of 
invalidity and whether we can finance or devote other significant resources 
that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of 
corporate expenditures, assessments of our technology by potential corporate or 
other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, the impact of 
government healthcare proposals and other factors set forth in our Annual 
Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, our Quarterly Report 
on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 and other filings we make 
from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no 
assurance that any product candidate in our pipeline will be successfully 
developed, manufactured or commercialized, that final results of clinical 
trials will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market products, 
or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proven 
accurate. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release, 
and we undertake no obligation to update or revise these statements, except as 
may be required by law.

Investors:    Ben Matone,      +1-484-362-0076,
Media: 	      Jeff Richardson, +1-267-440-4211,

SOURCE  Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.