PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA — INOVIO (NASDAQ: INO) announced the recent signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Colombia’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection reflecting the intent to advance efforts to combat the pandemic and endemic threat posed by COVID-19 and to better prepare for future public health emergencies.
The MOU creates a framework for a collaboration arrangement under which INOVIO and the government plan to explore knowledge sharing, technology licensing, and capacity building that support developing and producing vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals in Colombia. The potential results of these efforts include developing local manufacturing capabilities for INOVIO’s DNA medicines and related products and technologies.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President and CEO of INOVIO, said, “INOVIO’s memorandum of understanding with Colombia is a sign of our shared commitment to develop and advance potentially life-saving DNA medicines and vaccines to those in need. This partnership grew out of the intended advantages of INOVIO’s DNA medicines platform to address current and future global health threats due to the anticipated stability of its product candidates, speed of design and manufacture, as well as the immune response and tolerability that have been observed to date in clinical trials.”
The framework of the planned collaboration builds on INOVIO’s recently announced authorization to proceed in Colombia with the Phase 3 segment of its global Phase 2/3 clinical trial, INNOVATE, for INO-4800, the company’s DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19. INOVIO is working with partner Advaccine Biopharmaceuticals Suzhou Co., Ltd. (Advaccine) on the INNOVATE Phase 3 segment in multiple countries, with a focus on countries underserved by COVID-19 vaccines throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. INOVIO previously announced approvals to conduct the trial in Brazil, the Philippines, and Mexico.
Dr. Fernando Ruiz Gomez, Minister of Health and Social Protection, Republic of Colombia, said, “Today is very special for us. We have a complete circle of what is possible with a North American company for the production of vaccines, including the possibility of integrating the work being carried out by the WHO Solidarity vaccine trial in Colombia that includes INOVIO as one of the four vaccine candidates in the clinical studies. As we discussed in the previous meeting today, the possibility of moving forward quickly is due to INOVIO considering Colombia as a priority country, a gesture that we appreciate, and is indicative of the will of our country and the Ministry of Health to advance the development of vaccines in Colombia.”