MedImmune acquires rights to Inovio's HPV vaccine

Inovio Pharmaceutial has entered into a license agreement with MedImmune for its INO-3112 immunotherapy for cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and also a collaboration to develop new cancer vaccines, the companies announced.

Under the terms of the agreement, MedImmune will acquire exclusive rights to INO-3112. Inovio will receive an upfront payment from MedImmune of $27.5 million. Future payments will depend on certain development and commercial milestones being reached. MedImmune will fund all development costs, and Inovio is entitled to receive up to double-digit tiered royalties on INO-3112 product sales.

The therapy targets cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18, which are responsible for more than 70% of cervical precancers and cancers. INO-3112 is in phase I/II clinical trials for cervical and head and neck cancers. It generates "killer T-cell responses" that can destroy HPV16/18-driven tumors, according to Inovio.

"Our licensing partnership with MedImmune represents an important step in executing our immuno-oncology combination strategy and advancing Inovio's cancer vaccine R&D pipeline with a leading cancer immunotherapy company," stated J. Joseph Kim, PhD, president and CEO of Inovio, in a press release. "INO-3112 is progressing, with positive interim data generated in an Inovio-initiated phase I study."

MedImmune will study INO-3112 in combination with selected immunotherapy molecules within its pipeline in HPV-driven cancers. The benefits from immuno-oncology molecules, such as those in MedImmune's portfolio, can be enhanced when they are used in combination with cancer vaccines that generate tumor-specific T cells, according to Inovio.

As part of their collaboration, the companies will develop up to two additional DNA-based cancer vaccine products, which MedImmune will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize. Inovio will receive development, regulatory, and commercialization milestone payments and will be eligible to receive royalties on global net sales for the additional cancer vaccine products.

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