INO-4800 Cellectra


Research Institution

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology.; US Department of Defense.; Ology Bioservices Inc.


INO-4800 is a DNA vaccine candidate matched to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 disease in humans. Inovio's proprietary platform hand-held smart device called CELLECTRA® is leading the way forward for activation immunotherapy.

This one-of-a-kind platform delivers optimized DNA into cells, where it is translated into proteins that activate an individual's immune system to generate a robust targeted T cell and antibody response. CELLECTRA uses a brief electrical pulse to open small pores in the cell reversibly to allow the plasmids to enter. Once inside the cell, the plasmids begin replicating, thereby strengthening the body's own natural response mechanisms.

DNA medicines are composed of optimized DNA plasmids, which are small circles of double-stranded DNA that are synthesized or reorganized by a computer sequencing technology and designed to produce a specific immune response in the body.

Inovio is aiming to significantly expand the therapeutic range of monoclonal antibodies with its DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody technology. With dMAb, Inovio encodes DNA to express a monoclonal antibody. Injection of the DNA plasmid into a patient generates robust in vivo monoclonal antibody production.

This approach has the potential to generate in vivo production of therapeutic antibodies. Inovio's DNA medicines are not interfering with or changing in any way an individual's own DNA.

Research Team

J. Joseph Kim
President and CEO
Pablo Tebas
Professor of Medicine
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Project Details

Funding Sources

US DoD, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Coalition for Epidemic Prepardness Innovations Funding

Project Phases

Planned Time to Trials

Trials Active

Additional Resources

INO-4800 DNA Vaccine Development News

  • April 16, 2020 - The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced that the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has granted $6.9 million funding to INOVIO to work with IVI and the Korea National Institute of Health (KNIH) for a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of INOVIO's COVID-19 vaccine candidate (INO-4800) in South Korea. IVI will conduct the trial in parallel to INOVIO's Phase 1 INO-4800 study currently underway in the US since April 6, 2020, with 40 healthy adults receiving the vaccine candidate and eventually expanding to older adults.
  • April 6, 2020 - INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the U.S. FDA has accepted the company's Investigational New Drug application for INO-4800, its DNA vaccine candidate designed to prevent COVID-19 infection, paving the way for Phase 1 clinical testing of INO-4800 in healthy volunteers beginning this week. The first dosing is planned for today.
  • March 24, 2020 - Ology Bioservices Inc. and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that the US DOD has awarded Ology Bioservices with a contract valued at $11.9 million to work with Inovio on DNA technology transfer to rapidly manufacture DNA vaccines such as (INO-4800).
  • March 12, 2020 - INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has received a new $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the testing and scale-up of CELLECTRA® 3PSP proprietary smart device for the intradermal delivery of INO-4800, a DNA vaccine for COVID-19 disease. Inovio said its Cellectra 3PSP device is a small, hand-held and portable device that runs on AA batteries and can be used to inject a vaccine. It was originally developed using $8.1 million in funding from the medical arm of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Medical CBRN Defense Consortium. Inovio reiterated that it expects to deliver 1 million doses of INO-4800 by year-end 2020.
  • March 3, 2020 - Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced an accelerated timeline for developing its DNA vaccine INO-4800. We plan to begin human clinical trials in the U.S. in April and soon thereafter in China and South Korea, where the outbreak is impacting the most people. We plan on delivering one million doses by year-end 2020 with existing resources and capacity.
  • January 30, 2020, Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology announced a collaboration with Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to advance the development in China of the INO-4800 vaccine candidate, which is targeted against the novel coronavirus named 2019-nCoV.
  • January 23, 2020, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. said in a press release that the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations funding of $9 million dollars will support Inovio's preclinical and clinical development through Phase 1 human testing of INO-4800, its new coronavirus vaccine candidate matched to the outbreak strain. Inovio's collaborators for this coronavirus vaccine development include the Wistar Institute, VGXI, a fully owned subsidiary of GeneOne Life Science, and Twist Bioscience.


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