Inovio Biomedical Corporation

Inovio Biomedical Corporation

May 13, 2005 06:00 ET

10th World Congress on Cancers of the Skin to Present Treatment Results from Inovio's MedPulser Electrochemical Tumor Ablation System

SAN DIEGO--(CCNMatthews - May 13, 2005) -

Inovio Biomedical Corporation (AMEX:INO), a late stage developer of oncology and other therapies using electroporation to deliver drugs and nucleic acids, announced today the presentation of interim treatment results from Inovio's ongoing European pre-marketing study for skin cancers at the 10th World Congress on Cancers of the Skin at the Medical University of Vienna, May 13th - 16th, 2005. The poster presentation, entitled "Electroporation in skin cancer," was authored by treating physicians Dr. Peter Radny, formerly with the Dermatology Department, University of Tubingen (and now at the University of Freiburg), and Dr. Thomas Eigentler and Professor Claus Garbe of the Dermatology Department, University of Tubingen, in Germany. Professor Garbe is the lead investigator in Germany for Inovio's pre-marketing study for skin cancers and oversees six trial sites.

The presentation highlights results from the treatment of a patient with locally recurrent merkel cell carcinoma using Inovio's MedPulser® electrochemical tumor ablation system. Six weeks after a single treatment using electroporation with bleomycin, regression of all treated tumors was achieved, in comparison to a control lesion, which continued to grow. This patient was treated as part of Inovio's European pre-marketing study for newly diagnosed and recurrent cutaneous cancers.

"We are pleased to be using Inovio's novel MedPulser electrochemical tumor ablation system to treat patients with solid tumors that might otherwise require disfiguring surgery. Electroporation with bleomycin is a novel method for the ablation of tumors and may well become an important tool for treating skin cancer," stated Dr. Peter Radny, formerly with the Dermatology Department of the University of Tubingen (and now at the University of Freiburg).

"Surgical removal of a tumor is the standard of care for merkel cell carcinoma and all skin cancers, but this approach can detrimentally impact quality of life," said Avtar Dhillon, MD, Inovio's president and CEO. "As we progress in our European pre-marketing study for skin cancers using our MedPulser therapy, which is designed to improve patient quality of life and pharmacoeconomic outcomes, we are pleased to see participating physicians begin to present results at a respected international forum of peers."

The 10th World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, sponsored by The Skin Cancer Foundation, is taking place at the Medical University of Vienna, May 13th - 16th, 2005. The meeting will cover clinical and fundamental aspects of melanoma and dermato-oncology.

Merkel cell carcinoma, also called neuroendocrine cancer of the skin, is a rare type of disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found on or just beneath the skin and in hair follicles. It is usually found on the sun-exposed areas of the head, neck, arms, and legs. This cancer grows rapidly and often metastasizes (spreads) to other parts of the body. Merkel cell carcinoma is just one of the non-melanoma skin cancers that amount to an estimated one million incidences annually in the US alone.

The MedPulser® Electrochemical Tumor Ablation System

Inovio's electroporation technology significantly enhances local cellular uptake of useful biopharmaceuticals. Inovio is commercializing a cancer therapy that uses its MedPulser® electrochemical tumor ablation system in conjunction with bleomycin, an approved anti-cancer drug, to locally treat solid tumors. The therapy is designed to improve quality of life by avoiding disfigurement and function loss that can result from surgery, the standard of care for treating solid tumors, while also reducing treatment costs. This novel therapy is highly selective in killing cancerous cells while preserving healthy cells and tissue surrounding a tumor.

The MedPulser® has received the European CE Mark and Inovio is conducting multi-center, pre-marketing observational studies treating newly diagnosed and recurrent head and neck cancers as well as skin cancers in preparation for a planned European product launch. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a Special Protocol Assessment and approved clinical studies with a non-survival primary endpoint. Inovio is conducting two pivotal Phase III trials for recurrent and second primary squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck; the FDA granted these trials fast track status.

About Inovio Biomedical Corporation

Inovio Biomedical Corporation is a late stage biomedical company focused on building an oncology franchise based on its proprietary electroporation technology. Its electrochemical tumor ablation therapy is designed to preserve healthy tissue, improve quality of life, and lower treatment costs compared to surgery. The company is moving its lead product, the MedPulser®, through pre-marketing studies for head and neck cancer and skin cancers in Europe, where it has CE Mark accreditation, a U.S. Phase III pivotal study for recurrent head and neck cancer, and a Phase I pancreatic cancer trial. Merck, Vical, Chiron, the U.S. Navy, and other partners are employing Inovio's electroporation technology, which enhances local delivery and cellular uptake of useful biopharmaceuticals, in their development of novel DNA vaccines and gene therapies. Inovio is a leader in electroporation, with 57 US and 125 corresponding foreign issued patents, plus numerous pending patents in the US and abroad. More information can be obtained at

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to Inovio's plans to develop its electroporation drug and gene delivery technology and to maximize shareholder value. Actual events or results may differ from Inovio's expectations as a result of a number of factors, including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, evaluation of potential opportunities, the level of corporate expenditures, the assessment of Inovio's technology by potential corporate partners, capital market conditions, and other factors set forth in Inovio's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2005, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurance that any product in the Inovio product pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products.

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