Inovio has announced plans to discontinue its internally financed efforts for developing INO-4800 as a heterologous booster vaccine for Covid-19. 

The move comes after the company carried out a complete assessment of its portfolio, market conditions, and worldwide Covid-19 vaccine demand.

A DNA therapy product candidate, INO-4800 has been analysed as a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. 

It is still being assessed by the World Health Organization in the Solidarity Trial Vaccines clinical trial.

This global, multicentre, multi-vaccine, adaptive, shared placebo, event-driven, individually randomised controlled trial is designed to analyse the safety and efficacy of new Covid-19 vaccines.

Advaccine, a partner of Inovio in China, will progress the development of INO-4800 as a Covid-19 heterologous booster shot using its own resources. 

At present, Advaccine is evaluating the findings from a heterologous boost trial of the vaccine.

Inovio also intends to advance the preclinical activities to assess the potential for a pan-Covid-19 vaccine candidate leveraging its DNA medicines technology. 

The company will also reallocate its resources and concentrate its efforts on other product candidates in its pipeline such as INO-3107 and INO-5401.

Both of these products have delivered positive Phase I/II data for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis and glioblastoma. 

Inovio CEO and president Dr Jacqueline Shea said: “We continue to believe that our DNA medicine technology has attributes that could be beneficial to a heterologous Covid-19 booster vaccine. 

“However, our assessment of the current global demand for Covid-19 vaccines, changes in regulatory timelines and requirements, diminishing government financial support, and the overall growing uncertainty related to opportunities for heterologous booster vaccines have resulted in our decision to discontinue internal funding efforts to develop INO-4800 as a heterologous booster vaccine.” 

In November last year, the US Food and Drug Administration lifted the clinical hold placed on the company’s Phase III INNOVATE trial of INO-4800.