Just 5 months after it scored $21 million of a potential $45 million grant for the development of Ebola treatments, Inovio Pharmaceuticals ($INO) picked up the remaining $24 million from DARPA, the company announced on Monday. The DOD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency chose Inovio to lead the development of Ebola treatments and preventive measures, including a DNA-based vaccine against the disease.
Inovio has a long list of collaborators on the project. They include AstraZeneca's ($AZN) research unit MedImmune, South Korea's GeneOne Life Sciences and its U.S.-based manufacturing arm, VGXI, and the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University and Vanderbilt University. The funding also covers the development of a therapeutic DNA-based monoclonal antibody product to treat Ebola infection and a conventional monoclonal antibody.
"Inovio is executing all aspects of the Ebola program as planned," said Inovio CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim. "The DARPA program is funding an accelerated R&D program that is simultaneously working on three different counter-measures. Access to the full DARPA funding based on the accomplishment of certain program milestones allows Inovio and its collaborators to carry out all the elements of the proposal as rapidly as possible."
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