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INOVIO signs up Thermo Fisher to support COVID-19 vaccine production

8 Sep 2020

The CDMO will support INOVIO's plans to have 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800 manufactured in 2021.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has signed a letter of intent to manufacture INOVIO's DNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800.

The company joins other contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) in INOVIO's global manufacturing consortium, enabling INOVIO to potentially scale commercial production of INO-4800.

With its consortium of third-party manufacturers, INOVIO plans to have 100 million doses of INO-4800 manufactured in 2021, subject to FDA approval of INO-4800 for use as a COVID-19 vaccine.

Thermo Fisher plans to manufacture INO-4800 drug substance as well as perform fill and finish of INO-4800 drug product at its commercial facilities in the US. At peak capacity, Thermo Fisher projects that it could produce at least 100 million doses of the vaccine annually.

Leon Wyszkowski, President, Commercial Operations for Thermo Fisher's Pharma Services business, said they are "extremely well-positioned" to support INOVIO on its mission to manufacture 100 million doses of vaccine in 2021.

Thermo Fisher Scientific will join existing partners Richter-Helm BioLogics and Ology Biosciences in INOVIO's global manufacturing consortium.

INOVIO is in active discussions with additional manufacturers to join the consortium as INOVIO seeks to complement its existing members with additional manufacturing partnerships to meet global supply needs.

The third-party manufacturers will produce the patent-protected formulation for INO-4800, developed to enhance stability of the vaccine with a favorable tolerability profile. Importantly, INO-4800 has shown an excellent thermo-stability profile.

INOVIO's other platform DNA vaccine candidates have demonstrated a shelf life of greater than 5 years when refrigerated and stability for more than 30 days at 37 degrees Celsius, and more than one year at room temperature. INOVIO's candidates also do not need to be frozen during transport or storage, a vital factor when implementing immunizations on a global scale.

INO-4800 is administered via INOVIO's proprietary CELLECTRA smart delivery device, which delivers the vaccine locally into the patient's skin, a process that takes only a few seconds.

INOVIO is conducting a Phase I clinical trial of INO-4800 in the US and has submitted the full trial results for the first 40 subjects for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The company plans to initiate its Phase II/III COVID-19 vaccine trials in September, subject to FDA clearance to proceed.

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