Inovio (INO) a biotechnology company developing on bringing precisely designed DNA medicines to treat and protect people from infectious diseases, cancer and HPV-related diseases, announced on Wednesday that its next-generation Pan-COVID-19 vaccine candidate, INO-4802 successfully induces potent neutralizing antibodies and T cells responses against the original Wuhan Strain, B.1.1.7 (UK variant), B.1.351 (South Africa variant) and P.1. (Brazilian variant) in preclinical models. These findings show that INOVIO’s Pan-COVID-19 vaccine has the potential to trigger cross-reactive immune responses against existing and new viral variants as a first-line vaccine or as a boost for people who have already been immunized with Wuhan-matched vaccines.
INOVIO is taking a dual-track approach in developing a COVID-19 vaccine because we recognize the need to support both pandemic and endemic considerations. In addition to our work on INO-4800, which we expect to enter a global Phase 3 trial this summer, we are also developing our next-generation Pan-COVID-19 variant vaccine, INO-4802, which is designed to protect against current and potentially future variants of concern. The study data we report today confirms our two-tiered development path is the best strategy for the short- and long-term fight against this virus.Dr. Laurent M. Humeau – INOVIO’s Chief Scientific Officer
The original Wuhan strain was used to match the first-generation COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines could be less effective against new COVID strains. As a result, many of the next-generation vaccines currently in production are matched to a single circulating variant. INOVIO’s Pan-COVID-19 vaccine is intended to provide cross-strain defense, immune coverage, reduced susceptibility to escape mutants, and non-restricted geographic use against both known and unknown variants. In comparison to strain-matched vaccines, preclinical data with INO-4802 in multiple models showed both broader and higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against a panel of variants. INOVIO expects to perform Phase 1/2 clinical trials with INO-4802 this year, building on this initial work.
Variant sequences from multiple geographic regions were identified over a four-month span beginning in October 2020 to establish INOVIO’s Pan-COVID-19 vaccine candidate (Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States). The spike sequence mutations were summed up for each field. INO-4802 was generated by further engineering the sequence results from these regions to establish a common collection of overlapping mutations from emerging variations in the COVID spike protein sequences.