OncoSec moves to develop and commercialize electrochemical and gene-based cytokine tumor therapy applications of electroporation technology
SAN DIEGO, Ca., Apr. 4, 2011 — OncoSec Medical Incorporated (OTCBB: ONCS.OB), a developer of innovative medical approaches to treat solid tumor cancers with unmet medical needs, announced today that on March 24, 2011 it completed its acquisition of certain assets of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: INO) and entered into a license agreement with Inovio, pursuant to the terms of an asset purchase agreement with Inovio entered into on March 14, 2011.
OncoSec made an initial payment of $250,000 to Inovio, completing the closing requirements of the purchase and license agreement between the companies. The agreement requires OncoSec to make additional payments of $2.75 million by March 24, 2013, and pay a royalty on commercial product sales. OncoSec has purchased from Inovio certain non-DNA vaccine electroporation technology and intellectual property useful for an electrochemical therapy against solid tumors. OncoSec has also licensed the right to use this electroporation technology to deliver gene-based cytokine immune therapies for treating solid tumors.
Punit Dhillon, OncoSec’s president and CEO, said: “We are pleased to secure OncoSec’s initial funding announced last week and close the asset purchase and license agreement with Inovio. This transaction marks the official launch of OncoSec’s plan to develop and commercialize this promising technology for the selective treatment of cancerous tumors. With millions of people in the US alone facing detrimental cosmetic, functional and pain outcomes resulting from the invasive treatments used today for various skin and other cancers, there is a clear need for new therapies to address these unmet needs. These electrochemical and gene-based cytokine therapies have previously achieved important clinical outcomes, and we look forward to initiating advanced stage clinical studies by the end of this year.”
OncoSec purchased certain electroporation technology assets and licensed additional electroporation applications based on Inovio’s industry-leading electroporation technology platform that, in addition to DNA vaccines and immune therapeutics, also efficiently delivers chemotherapeutic or gene-based cytokine agents for the treatment of cancerous tumors. When these chemotherapeutic or gene-based cytokine agents are injected into a locally targeted treatment area such as a tumor and the predominantly healthy tissue in the margin surrounding a tumor, they have been shown to selectively and quickly destroy the tumor and cancer cells in the tumor margin. The chemotherapeutic agent acts by directly killing cancerous cells at the delivery site. Gene-based cytokine agents act by inducing broad, non-antigen specific immune responses that have been shown to kill cancerous cells. Initial data has shown that, these therapies may enable heightened concentrations of medicine to be directed to the cancer while reducing overall dosage and moderating or eliminating side effects associated with systemically-applied therapeutic approaches. This optimized delivery is enabled by the local application of brief controlled electrical pulses to cells to temporarily and reversibly increase permeability of the cell membranes in locally targeted tissue, which may dramatically increase cellular uptake of a previously injected agent.
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is developing a new generation of vaccines, called DNA vaccines, to treat and prevent cancers and infectious diseases. These SynCon™ vaccines are designed to provide broad cross-strain protection against known as well as newly emergent strains of pathogens such as influenza. These vaccines, in combination with Inovio’s proprietary electroporation delivery devices, have been shown to be safe and generate significant immune responses. Inovio’s clinical programs include three separate programs in Phase II clinical studies, including VGX-3100 for treating cervical dysplasia and cancer. Other Inovio clinical programs include those for avian flu (preventive) and HIV vaccines (both preventive and therapeutic). Inovio is developing universal influenza and other vaccines in collaboration with scientists from the University of Pennsylvania. Other partners and collaborators include Merck, ChronTech, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, University of Southampton, and PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. More information is available at www.inovio.com.
About OncoSec Medical Inc.
OncoSec Medical Incorporated (OTC BB: ONCS.OB) is focused on designing, developing and commercializing innovative medical approaches to treat solid tumor cancers with unmet medical needs or where currently approved therapies are inadequate based on their efficacy level or side effect profile. The company’s therapies are based on the use of electroporation delivery in combination with an approved chemotherapeutic drug or a cytokine agent to treat solid tumors. More information is available at www.oncosec.com.