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INOVIO To Develop DMAb Candidates To Treat COVID-19 With DARPA Funding - Quick Facts

Biotechnology company INOVIO (INO) said Tuesday it will develop DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody or dMAb candidates to treat COVID-19 with funding from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, and the Department of Defense's Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense or JPEO-CBRND.

InOVIO said that the company and a team of scientists from the Wistar Institute, AstraZeneca, the University of Pennsylvania, and Indiana University received a $37.6 million grant to use INOVIO's DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody or dMAb technology to develop anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific dMAbs.

The company noted that the dMAbs could offer versatile capabilities to function as both a therapeutic and preventive treatment for COVID-19.

As part of DARPA's two-year grant, INOVIO and Wistar teams will construct COVID-19 dMAb candidates mirroring AstraZeneca's traditional recombinant monoclonal antibody candidates currently being tested in clinical trials to treat COVID-19.

INOVIO noted that dMAb candidates can be quickly developed and produced in vivo, offering a cost-effective as well as scalable therapeutic and preventive option for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.

The dMAb candidates will then be advanced into preclinical studies and then into rigorous, first-in-human clinical trials within one year of funding.

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