Ology Bioservices and Inovio join forces to develop coronavirus DNA vaccine with $11.9M grant from DOD
Ology Bioservices, a biotech company that specializes in R&D (both cGMP and non-cGMP) and manufacturing of vaccines, has been awarded a contract valued at $11.9 million by the Department of Defense (DOD) to work with Inovio Pharmaceuticals on DNA technology transfer to rapidly manufacture DNA vaccines for coronavirus. Inovio is a pharmaceutical company that develops DNA medicines for infectious diseases and cancer.
As part of the contract, Ology Bioservices will work with Inovio Pharmaceuticals to manufacture Inovio’s DNA vaccine (INO-4800) for prevention of infection with the COVID-19 virus. The aim of the program is to rapidly and efficiently deliver the vaccine to the Department of Defense for upcoming clinical trials.
Peter H. Khoury, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ology Bioservices, noted, “We are excited to be working with the Department of Defense and Inovio to rapidly respond to this crisis. The Advanced Development and Manufacturing Facility operated by Ology Bioservices was designed to respond to just such emergencies as we are now experiencing, and we are proud to be part of this effort to protect the U.S. warfighter and the nation.”
J. Joseph Kim, Ph.D., Inovio’s President and CEO, said, “Along with advancing INO-4800 through clinical studies as rapidly as possible, Inovio’s goal is to scale up the manufacturing of this vaccine for future studies and for potential emergency use, if appropriate. Powered by the U.S. Department of Defense support, Inovio is pleased to partner with Ology to enable rapid response manufacture of INO-4800 especially for the nation’s warfighters and other military personnel. This DOD-funded partnership is a testament to the importance and strength of public-private partnerships in meeting the challenges the world faces with the COVID-19 outbreak. This partnership increases Inovio’s manufacturing capabilities for our COVID vaccine and establishes an additional DNA vaccine manufacturing facility to protect the U.S. military against current and future disease outbreaks.”
“Given the current global health crisis, prophylaxis/vaccine development is critical to defend against the coronavirus disease 2019,” said Douglas Bryce, Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense. “We need several approaches to ensure we have a quick solution, and the medical countermeasures Advanced Development and Manufacturing Facility is poised to contribute to the race for a vaccine in coordination with our interagency partners like Health and Human Services, along with our partners in industry and academia.”
Matthew Hepburn, M.D., Joint Project Lead CBRN Defense Enabling Biotechnologies, stated, “We are sincerely optimistic about the partnership between Inovio and Ology Bioservices, in order to make doses of a vaccine that could potentially protect our military personnel. It is urgently needed.”