With the 15th World Vaccine Congress on 13 – 15 October in Brussels is just next month I conducted an interview to one of our key speakers, Dr. Niranjan Y. Sardesai (COO, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) to give you further insight into his new exciting clinical data and current challenges in developing cancer DNA vaccines.
Dr. Sardesai has broad development and consulting experience in vaccine product development. He leads the company’s corporate development function and product development programs in infectious disease and cancer vaccines and vaccine delivery systems. Programs under his leadership include candidate infectious disease vaccines for HIV, influenza, dengue, chikungunya, malaria, HBV, and HCV and cancer vaccines for cervical and prostate cancer. His talk, “Using synthetic DNA vaccines to induce strong antibody and T Cell responses: Clinical efficacy data from VGX3100 Phase II study in untreated CIN2/3 patients” will present exciting clinical data in HPV associated cervical dysplasia.
What are some of the most pressing issues you are facing in using DNA vaccines and why?
One of the pressing issues for the field of DNA vaccines has been that while there are five animal health products based on DNA that have been licensed, there are none licensed yet for human use. Earlier this summer we announced exciting new top line efficacy results from VGX3100, our DNA based immunotherapy for HPV associated cervical dysplasia. We showed for the first time in a placebo controlled study that we can clear cervical lesions to an appreciable extent using a DNA immunotherapy targeting HPV E6 and E7 oncogenes. We are now embarking on a Phase III study to support licensure by regulatory agencies and commercialisation of the treatment for cervical dysplasia and thereby provide physicians an important alternative to surgery to treat CIN 2/3 disease. Our results provide the validation and confidence that DNA vaccines can yield clinically meaningful results impacting human health.
How does your case study address some of these issues?
We are excited by our clinical results demonstrating significant efficacy of a DNA based therapeutic vaccine to clear cervical disease. Beyond the direct impact on our immunotherapy pipeline targeting HPV associated cancers and pre-cancers, the results help validate our optimised DNA-electroporation product platform and our ability to generate strong T cell responses not just in a number of different animal models, but also in the human setting.
What are the major investment areas at the moment in your company and how is this expected to progress in the future?
Inovio is focused on developing vaccines and immunotherapies targeting oncology and infectious diseases. Our clinical pipeline includes immunotherapies targeting HPV associated cancers and pre-cancers (cervical, head and neck, VIN, VAIN, AIN) as well as immunotherapies targeting HBV, HCV, HIV, and prostate, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers. These represent significant investment areas for the company. Additionally, with the successful results from the Phase II study, preparing for and initiating the Phase III study represents an important major investment for the company.
What would you like to gain from our congress?
WVC represents an exciting forum to share vaccine and immunology driven product development results and meet our peers in industry, academia, and government/regulatory agencies. It’s an opportunity to meet potential partners as well as learn from the experiences of our peers.
To book please visit http://www.terrapinn.com/template/live/documents/6576/15398 to set up your 1-2-1 meetings with key speakers like Dr. Niranjan Y. Sardesai.