DNA-based immunotherapy will be tested for safety and immune responses in quest to eliminate HCV infection
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., April 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) announced today its immunotherapy for hepatitis C (INO-8000) will be evaluated in a phase I trial in chronically infected patients who are not receiving other hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments. The study will enroll patients who are in the early stages of chronic HCV infection to determine the therapy’s ability to decrease and potentially eliminate HCV viral load, measure HCV specific immune responses and durability of these immune responses, and evaluate safety and tolerability. In this dose-escalation study INO-8000 will be combined with increasing doses of DNA-based IL-12 (INO-9012), an immune activator, which in previous studies has been shown to increase the therapeutic immune response to DNA immunotherapies.
The study is funded by the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention and will be conducted at the Mayo Clinic and other U.S. sites.
Among those initially infected with HCV, 75 to 85 percent will go on to develop chronic illness. More than 170 million people around the world are chronically infected with HCV. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) an estimated 3.5 million people in the US are chronically infected with HCV, with about 20,000 new cases of chronic HCV reported in the US in the last year. About 15,000 people in the US die each year of HCV-related causes.