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VGX Animal Health's Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone Shows Advantages Compared to Current Growth Hormone Therapies Used in Pigs.

GHRH Provides Desired Benefits of Weight Gain with a Simpler Treatment Regimen Compared to Growth Hormones

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- VGX Animal Health, Inc. announced today that data demonstrating the effectiveness of its plasmid-based growth hormone releasing hormone (pGHRH) technology was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Therapy in a paper entitled, "A Comparison of the Growth Responses Following Intramuscular GHRH Plasmid Administration Versus Daily Growth Hormone Injections in Young Pigs."

This study was conducted by VGX Animal Health scientists in conjunction with the Children's Nutrition Research Center, a cooperative venture between Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service. It was partly funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative.

Piglets treated twice daily for eight weeks with a currently used injectable porcine growth hormone (GH) were compared to piglets treated with a single injection of a DNA plasmid capable of expressing the naturally occurring form of porcine GHRH. The injection was followed by electroporation, which uses electrical fields to dramatically increase cellular uptake of the GHRH plasmid and expression of the GHRH.

Data generated in the study confirmed that both GH and pGHRH treatments were highly effective in increasing daily lean weight gain. Importantly, piglets in the pGHRH treatment group had the added benefit that they did not require daily hormone injections and did not experience the increases in organ weight associated with GH therapy. This study demonstrated that a single pGHRH treatment could be a viable alternative to currently used GH therapies in pigs as well as other species.

Dr. Doug Kern, VP, Business Development of VGX Animal Health, stated, "This is the first time a single dose of a plasmid-based growth hormone releasing hormone therapy has been directly compared to daily injections of growth hormone. Based on the results of our work, the health and growth of food animals was dramatically increased using this technology. The clear benefits to the animal and relative ease of administration warrant the assessment of this technology for application to pigs and other animals currently being administered daily injections of growth hormone."

Kevin Rassas, President of VGX Animal Health, stated, "The growth responses observed in piglets with administration of the pGHRH plasmid technology, i.e. without direct administration of GH, are a significant improvement over the daily use of growth hormone or growth hormone analogs. These results suggest that this new application could be an important complement to our LifeTide([R]) product, which is also based on VGX's pGHRH technology. We continue market development efforts for LifeTide([R]) SW 5 in Australia and efforts to secure regulatory approval for LifeTide([R]) SW 5 in new markets."

VGX Animal Health's GHRH product for pigs, LifeTide([R]) SW 5, is administered as a once in a lifetime treatment for use in sows of breeding age. Licensing studies completed in Australia demonstrated a significant decrease in perinatal mortality and morbidity, resulting in an increase in sow productivity and the number of pigs weaned per sow. LifeTide([R]) SW 5 is the world's first therapeutic plasmid delivered by electroporation to be approved for use in food animals. The product was approved in Australia in January 2008 by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

About VGX Animal Health

VGX Animal Health is developing DNA-based therapies for food and companion animals utilizing proprietary plasmid-based DNA delivery and expression technology to optimize an animal's natural biological and immunological potential. The company is a majority-owned subsidiary of Inovio Biomedical Inc. (NYSE Amex: INO).

This press release contains, in addition to historical information, forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on management's current estimates and expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. VGX Animal Health, Inc., which is a majority owned subsidiary of Inovio Biomedical Corporation (NYSE Amex: INO), is providing this information as of the date of this press release, and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this press release.

Forward-looking statements in this press release include, without limitation, express and implied statements relating to VGX Animal Health's (VGXAH) business, plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and DNA vaccines and pre-clinical and pre-licensing studies. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including but not limited to: VGXAH has a history of losses; all of VGXAH's potential animal products are in research and development phases outside of LifeTide[R] in Australia; no revenues have been generated from the sale of any such products outside of LifeTide[R] in the Australian market, nor are any such revenues expected for at least the next several years; VGXAH's product candidates will require significant additional research and development efforts, including extensive preclinical and pre-licensing testing; uncertainties inherent in pre-licensing trials and product development programs, including but not limited to the fact that pre-clinical and pre-licensing results may not be indicative of results achievable in other trials or for other indications, that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies, that results from an animal study may not be indicative of results achievable in pre-licensing studies, that pre-licensing testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, that the outcome of any pre-licensing trial is uncertain and failure can occur at any time during the pre-licensing trial process, and that VGXAH's electroporation technology and gene therapies and DNA vaccines may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits in pre-licensing trials; all product candidates that VGXAH advances to pre-licensing testing will require regulatory approval prior to commercial use, and will require significant costs for commercialization; the availability of funding; the ability to manufacture gene therapy and vaccine candidates; the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by VGXAH or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that VGXAH and its collaborators hope to develop; whether VGXAH's proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity; and the impact of the government's proposals to the regulatory environment.

Readers are also referred to Inovio's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Jan 7, 2010
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