Funding from the DoD is set to support large-scale manufacturing for the Cellectra 3PSP and the procurement of Cellectra 2000 devices, which are used to deliver Inovio’s INO-4800 COVID-19 vaccine candidate directly into the skin.
The small, portable, hand-held device runs on “AA” batteries and is designed to deliver the INO-4800 vaccine, meant to prompt the body’s immune system to drive an immune response. It is currently in the midst of a U.S. Phase I clinical trial, for which results will be available later this month. A Phase II/III efficacy trial is slated to begin this month or next.
Plymouth Meeting, Pa.-based Inovio said in a news release that its San Diego manufacturing facility has produced initial quantities of the device and displayed capabilities for scale-up transfers to contract manufacturers to increase supply under the DoD funding.
The company previously received funding in the form of separate $5 million grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to accelerate testing of the Cellectra 3PSP, having already begun development last year with $8.1 million in funding from the medical arm of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Medical CBRN Defense Consortium.
“Inovio is very pleased to receive this significant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to continue our rapid scale-up capacity for our breakthrough DNA medicines delivery device Cellectra,” Inovio president & CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim said in the release. “We look forward to working closely with DoD, JPEO-CBRND and JPL-CBRND-EB to provide much-needed protection to DoD personnel and their families through the development of a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19.
“This next-generation smart device leverages the efficacy delivery and safety track record of an earlier version that has received CE mark certification and has been used in clinical trials to safely dose more than 2,000 patients in over 7,000 administrations of INOVIO’s DNA medicines. The current DoD contract further supports Inovio’s large-scale production of devices and arrays to deliver potentially hundreds of millions of doses of INO-4800 next year to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic.”