Inovio is bringing IMMUNO-INGENUITY™ to life and is reshaping the future of treating and preventing cancer and infectious diseases.

Inovio's technology platform is capable of activating antigen-specific immune responses. With demonstrated efficacy in a Phase 2b trial, robust and targeted immune responses, a favorable safety profile, and a robust pipeline of product candidates across multiple disease states, the evidence to date is clear—Inovio is realizing the true promise of immunotherapy.

IMMUNO-INGENUITY is…

  • The drive to develop novel immunotherapies to fight cancer and infectious disease
  • Challenging ourselves to activate the immune system in revolutionary ways
  • A passion for engineering efficacy-enabling delivery methods
  • Expanding the benefits of immunotherapy to more patients and more healthcare practices

Inovio's platform is achieving what no other approach has before: utilizing DNA and next-generation antigen sequencing and delivery to activate the immune system. Inovio's immunotherapies function exclusively in vivo, generating an antigen-specific immune response against targeted diseases in clinical trials to date. The science is at once, unprecedented and practical. It is the realization of the power of immunotherapy, exclusively in the hands of the physician and through the patient's own immune system.

Today, Inovio stands poised to offer the benefits of this transformative technology to patients and healthcare practices in critical need. Inovio's technology has the potential to be a foundational approach in oncology, where other immunotherapies and targeted agents can be layered in as needed. In infectious diseases, Inovio represents a new hope for rapid vaccine development for preventive efforts, as well as new treatment modalities where cures remain elusive.

The technology is here, the team is in place. Now is the time for activation immunotherapy. Now is the time for Inovio—where immuno-ingenuity is making the difference. 

Inovio brings together scientific, medical, and entrepreneurial expertise

Made up by some of the brightest minds in the fields of immunotherapy, vaccines, biotech, and business, Inovio is ceaselessly challenging ourselves to employ immuno-ingenuity to solve critical unmet needs in global health.

Executive team

J. Joseph Kim, Ph.D.

President, Chief Executive Officer, Director

As President, CEO and Director of Inovio, Dr. Kim is a trailblazer who has successfully led the company since 2009 with ingenuity and strategic practicality to become a thriving late-stage biotech that is deeply focused on developing next-generation immunotherapies to improve patient lives.

An immunologist by training, Dr. Kim holds a unique perspective in understanding the complexities of healthcare’s greatest unsolved challenges. His drive to improve and enhance patient lives is woven into the daily fabric of company culture.

Dr. Kim is also a global thought leader that has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, holds numerous patents and sits on several editorial boards and review panels including most recently recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Health Innovators Fellow at The Aspen Institute. He previously co-founded VGX Pharmaceuticals, an immunotherapeutic company that he led for nine years until combining VGX with Inovio Biomedical in 2009 to form Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Kim earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Immunology from the University Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the Wharton School.

Peter Kies

Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Mr. Kies’ primary focus is assuring Inovio’s financial health as it reaches pipeline and commercialization goals in developing next-generation immunotherapies. As a key member of the senior leadership team, Mr. Kies is also responsible for developing and executing global financial strategy and action plans to meet the business objectives.

Prior to joining Inovio in 2002, Mr. Kies acquired broad expertise in the functional and strategic management of biotechnology and high technology companies across the full spectrum of corporate growth, from IPO to profitability. He was previously Chief Financial Officer at Newgen Results Corporation and held positions at Cytel Corporation and Ernst & Young, LLP. Mr. Kies holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from United States International University in San Diego, CA.

Niranjan Y. Sardesai, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

As COO, Dr. Sardesai is an integral part of the leadership team responsible for overall operational strategy and execution. His unique background in R&D and entrepreneurship create the foundation for his bold and innovative approach to driving Inovio forward. At Inovio, Dr. Sardesai has led multiple M&A and licensing transactions to consolidate key technologies, establish the corporate footprint, and develop the Inovio immunotherapy platform and pipeline. In 2017, he was appointed President and CEO of Geneos Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Inovio spun out to focus on development of patient specific immunotherapies for cancer.

Recognized as one of the top 100 most influential and inspirational leaders in the life sciences and healthcare industry (2015), Dr. Sardesai is driven by a “patient first” vision and is focused on reshaping the future of treating and preventing cancer and infectious diseases. Prior to his appointment as COO in 2012, he served as the Vice President and then Senior Vice President of Research and Development at VGX Pharmaceuticals since 2006 and subsequently at Inovio following the merger of the two companies in 2009. Previously, he served as Director, R&D at Fujirebio Diagnostics where he oversaw the expansion of the company’s oncology portfolio and the development and launch of new groundbreaking tests for mesothelioma (MESOMARKTM) and ovarian cancer (HE4).

Dr. Sardesai received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech; and MBA (entrepreneurship and finance) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has been recognized with numerous honors including the Shils-Zeidman Award in Entrepreneurship at Wharton and fellowships at the Scripps Research Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has authored over 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and filed several patents. Dr. Sardesai also currently serves as the Co-chair of the BIO – Vaccine Policy Advisory Committee.

Mark L. Bagarazzi, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bagarazzi is responsible for global clinical development, regulatory affairs and biologics manufacturing at Inovio. His vast medical and technological insight and global expertise in advancing vaccines through clinical trials and regulatory processes, have made him an invaluable member of the leadership team.

A pediatrician and engineer by training, his perspective is uniquely aligned with Inovio’s drive to develop innovative solutions to meet the unmet needs of patients who are waiting for next-generation therapies to change their lives. Prior to joining Inovio, Dr. Bagarazzi was Director of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for Vaccines and Biologics at Merck Research Laboratories, Director of the Pediatric AIDS program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and a faculty member of Drexel College of Medicine. He has authored or co-authored dozens of peer- reviewed scientific papers with a particular focus on all aspects of DNA vaccine research. Dr. Bargarazzi earned his M.D. degree with honors from New Jersey Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering magna cum laude from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Laurent Humeau, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Research and Development

As SVP of Research and Development, Dr. Humeau works to ensure continuous and strategic growth of Inovio’s pipeline by introducing a constant flow of innovative concepts and cycling them from early stage discovery and development through clinical application and patient monitoring. He provides technical and strategic leadership across multiple teams that are essential to upstream and downstream verticals of clinical development.

Dr. Humeau leads with a collaborative spirit and deeply believes in the company’s core values. He is a valuable member of the leadership team who greatly contributes to Inovio’s culture. Prior to Inovio, Dr. Humeau was Senior Director of Translational Research, Human Therapeutics Division for Intrexon and previously Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President of R&D at VIRxSYS Corporation. Dr. Humeau holds a Ph.D., summa cum laude, from Denis Diderot/Paris 7 University and a MS degree from Pierre & Marie Curie/Paris 6 University, Paris, France.

Senior management

Prakash Bhuyan, M.D., Ph.D.

Vice President, Clinical Development

Dr. Bhuyan heads Inovio’s clinical programs to treat HPV-related precancers as they head in the late stage clinical trials. Dr. Bhuyan has made profound contributions to the field of vaccinology by designing, leading, and providing medical guidance for development programs at multiple companies, successfully leading many vaccine candidates from clinical trials to commercial approval.

Dr. Bhuyan is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Adult Infectious Diseases, and serves as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bhuyan also served as medical lead in the TransCelerate BioPharma-sponsored collaborative—a large control database designed to facilitate the development of new medicines. He earned his M.D. and his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Medical Scientist Training Program.

EJ Brandreth, MBA

Vice President, Quality Assurance

Mr. Brandreth is responsible for all quality and compliance functions across clinical development, manufacturing and other operational areas that support Inovio’s broad pipeline of immunotherapies and DNA vaccines. With over 30 years in life sciences including small molecules, devices and a wide variety of pivotal biotechnology products, Mr. Brandreth is a key member of the senior leadership team with a track record of moving pipeline candidates such as Rituxan®, Zevalin®, Aldurazyme® and Naglazyme® to commercialization. Mr. Brandreth will play a critical role as we ramp up our immunotherapies and DNA vaccines into late stage clinical trials.

Prior to joining Inovio, Mr. Brandreth had a successful career transitioning start-up clinical biotech operations into successful commercial entities; he contributed to the success of several biopharmaceutical companies through his strong leadership of the quality and compliance areas. He holds an MBA from University of the Pacific and a B.A. in Biology from University of California, San Diego.

Shawn Bridy, MA, MBA

As Vice President of Business Development, Mr. Bridy is responsible for Business Development and Licensing activities at Inovio. Mr. Bridy has over 20 years of business development, licensing, strategy, and transaction experience. Prior to joining Inovio, Mr. Bridy was a strategic and operational advisor to over 20 life sciences operating and investment companies. Mr. Bridy also served as Head of Business Development and Licensing for Immunome, and emerging immuno-oncology company, and was a key member of the team that raised a $17.2M Series-A. At Elan Pharmaceuticals, he was responsible for out-licensing an oncology and neuroscience portfolio in their Business Development group. At GlaxoSmithKline, Mr. Bridy was responsible for diligence and valuation of oncology in-licensing and pipeline drugs in their Global Commercial Strategy group. He also served as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at BTG plc.

Mr. Bridy has an MA in Biology and an MBA in Finance from Villanova University and a BA and BS degree in Zoology from Miami University.

Kate E. Broderick, Ph.D.

Dr. Broderick has a broad background in the product development and device development DNA therapeutic and drug delivery field, with specific expertise in in vivo DNA vaccine animal studies and product development in relation to electroporation.  Her particular area of focus is electroporation device design specifically pertaining to skin delivery and she has been central to the development of Inovio novel prototypes and designs. Dr. Broderick has authored and co-authored over 60 peer reviewed article and her group regularly publish their findings and present their work in the public forum at conferences. Due to her expertise in the area, Dr. Broderick has been invited to participate in WHO advisory meetings related to DNA vaccines and their delivery.

Dr. Broderick is also a co-inventor on multiple patents related to DNA vaccine delivery and is principal investigator on grants, awards and contracts from funding bodies such as NIH, Department of Defense, SBIR, and CEPI.

Dr. Broderick received her Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and performed her post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. She joined Inovio Pharmaceuticals in 2006 where she currently leads a diverse research group focused on enhanced delivery techniques for gene based therapeutics as the Vice President, Preclinical R&D.

Ami Shah Brown, Ph.D., MPH

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Brown is responsible for developing and implementing Inovio’s regulatory strategies including all submissions, compliance, promotional reviews and registrations to support Inovio’s product development pipeline. Her technical excellence and strategic insight make Dr. Brown a key member of the leadership team as the company works to advance multiple cancer and infectious disease products through the clinical and regulatory process.

Prior to Inovio, Dr. Brown led regulatory affairs and other functions at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, D.C. and served on the faculty in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington University. Her training and community work include supporting HIV vaccine trials at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Immunization Research, a fellowship with the CDC's National Centers for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, and with the Emory Vaccine Center. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in International Health with a focus in vaccine development, application, and policy from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; a Master of Public Health degree from The Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University; and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Jordan, MBA

Vice President, Device Manufacturing Operations 

Mr. Jordan is responsible for overall supply chain operations at Inovio, where he drives departmental cohesiveness with purpose and vision to meet company commercialization goals. With over 25 years of experience in the medical device and environmental health and safety industries, Mr. Jordan has led many successful operational teams ranging from start-ups through large organizational IPOs. His technical and executional strengths are great assets to the company.

As a senior leader at Inovio, Mr. Jordan is known for his dedication and meticulous approach that motivate innovative solutions and positive outcomes across all Materials departments while increasing stakeholder value and satisfaction. Mr. Jordan received an MBA in Finance from George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University and holds a BS in Business Management from San Diego State University.

Robert J. Juba Jr.

Vice President, Biological Manufacturing and Clinical Supply Management

Mr. Juba is responsible for ensuring the manufacturing and supply of Inovio’s SynCon ®  plasmid DNA therapeutic and prophylactic vaccine candidates for clinical use. He provides strategic and operational leadership of Supply Operations function, establishing supply processes, planning, procurement, and inventory strategies for late-stage clinical programs as well as new product launches and product line extensions.

As a chemical engineer with 20+ years of experience managing cGMP pharmaceutical and biological vaccine manufacturing for commercial and clinical products, Mr. Juba leads with extensive technical expertise to help Inovio reach product development and commercialization goals. He previously led plasmid manufacturing at VGXI, Inc. and held several positions at Merck in bulk vaccine manufacturing operations and strategy. Mr. Juba holds a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering Practice and a BS degree in Chemical Engineering, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stephen Kemmerrer

Vice President, Engineering Development

Mr. Kemmerrer is responsible for electrical and mechanical engineering, software development and human factors for current and new device technologies used in the delivery of Inovio’s DNA-based immunotherapies. He is a well-respected and seasoned engineer who leads with an entrepreneurial spirit and brings years of experience in implementing innovative, high-impact solutions in the Biotech industry including as a developer of the Advanced Tissue Sciences human tissue mesh technology. Earlier in his career he worked in the aerospace field building communication satellites.

Mr. Kemmerrer believes in a disciplined and focused approach to achieving strategic goals and is driven to improve patient outcomes across multiple therapeutic areas and patient populations, especially children. Mr. Kemmerrer holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from San Diego State University.

Jessica C. Lee, MPH

Vice President, Clinical Operations and Global Integration

Ms. Lee is responsible for the operational execution of Inovio’s pipeline and clinical compliance, providing strategic leadership across the company’s extensive DNA immunotherapy product pipeline. As a seasoned clinical research professional with more than 20 years of vaccine and drug development experience in the pharmaceutical industry and academia, Ms. Lee brings excellence to a leadership team that is keenly focused on bringing new breakthrough cancer medicines and vaccines to patients. 

Ms. Lee has been with Inovio since 2006, previously as Sr. Director of Clinical Operations and prior to that, with clinical development groups at Bristol Myers Squibb and Merck and Co. She has managed and led clinical programs in infectious disease, oncology and molecular diagnostics and has been involved in numerous INDs and NDAs. She received her MPH from Drexel University School of Public Health, MSc in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs from Temple University School of Pharmacy and B.S. in Molecular Biology from Drexel University.

Jeffrey C. Richardson 

Vice President, Strategic Relations

As head of strategic relations, Mr. Richardson brings a wealth of strategic communication expertise to bear across a wide range of external and internal efforts—including media relations, government relations, and human resources.

Prior to Inovio he was principal of Richardson Global PR where he assisted small public and pre-IPO pharma and biotech companies in gaining awareness and generating support in the financial and medical media, government affairs and with disease advocacy associations. He previously led major external relations efforts for Amgen and GSK. Jeffrey also served as a reporter and editor with Gannett News and an instructor at Temple University.

Keiko Simon, Ph.D.

Vice President, Alliance and Program Management

 

A human-centric expert in cross-functional planning, collaboration, and execution, Dr. Simon is Inovio’s head of Alliance and Program Management. She regularly collaborates with Inovio’s leadership, board of directors, and executional teams to ensure Inovio’s strategic and operational goals are brought to fruition in a manner that taps into the vast array of talent that the Inovio team has to offer.

 

Prior to Inovio, Dr. Simon served as the Vaccines R&D Chief of Staff at Merck. 

Jeffrey Skolnik, M.D.

Vice President, Clinical Development

Dr. Skolnik directs several of Inovio’s clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy programs. He is a key member of the leadership team overseeing global clinical assets for DNA immunotherapies aimed to treat cancers.

Dr. Skolnik was previously at Tetralogic Pharmaceuticals, where he was Vice President of Clinical Research and later Chief Medical Officer, and oversaw all clinical programs in oncology, infectious diseases and dermatology. He was also a Medical Affairs lead in oncology at GSK and held several positions at AstraZeneca including Senior Director and Medical Science Director for both early and late stage compounds. Dr. Skolnik received his M.D. degree with honors from New York University and received his pediatric training at Children’s Hospital, Boston and completed his hematology/oncology training at CHOP.

Scott M. White, M.D.

Vice President, Clinical Development

Dr. White is responsible for clinical infectious disease portfolio development, including pipeline strategies and recommendations in immunotherapeutic and immunoprophylactic areas. He is an innovative project lead across anti-infectives, driving early stage project execution from pre-clinical through New Drug (NDA) and Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) submission stages. Dr. White also focuses on building relationships with disease–specific external partners with expertise pivotal to Inovio’s strategic goals.

As an industry leader, finding disruptive solutions to address and prioritize unmet patient population needs motivates Dr. White. His extensive experience in global product development across therapeutic areas, including most recently as Senior Director at GlaxoSmithKline, make him a driving force on the Inovio team. Dr. White received his M.D. from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and his B.S. with Honors from the Pennsylvania State University.

Board of directors

Avtar Dhillon, MD 
Chairman of the Board, Inovio Pharmaceuticals 

Avtar Dhillon has served as Chairman of the Board of Inovio since 2009. Dr. Dhillon was Executive Chairman of Inovio from July 2009 to June 2011, and was the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 2001 until June 2009, when the company merged with VGX Pharmaceuticals.

Beginning in 1989, Dr. Dhillon practiced family medicine for over 12 years. In 1997 and 1998 he consulted to Cardiome Pharma Corp. He was engaged by MDS Capital Corp. (now Lumira Capital Corp.) as a consultant in 1998, and subsequently became an investment manager and vice president. Dr. Dhillon holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, in Human Physiology, and M.D. degree, both from the University of British Columbia.

Simon X. Benito 
Former Senior Vice President, Vaccine Division, Merck 

Simon Benito has been a director of Inovio since 2003. Mr. Benito is also a director of Durect Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company. Mr. Benito has had a successful and extensive career serving multiple healthcare companies in senior executive positions, including 25 years at Merck & Co, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President, Merck Vaccine Division from 1996 to 1999; Executive Vice President, Merck-Medco Managed Care from 1994 to 1996; and Executive Director and Vice President, Merck Human Health, Japan from 1986-1993. Mr. Benito was a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for over thirty years until his retirement from Merck in 1999.

Angel Cabrera, Ph.D.
President, George Mason University 

Angel Cabrera is President of George Mason University, the largest university in Virginia. Previously he was president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, widely regarded as the world's leading graduate school of international business. At Thunderbird, Dr. Cabrera led a major academic, operational, and financial overhaul of the international business school, stemming operating deficits and declining revenues and consolidating Thunderbird's leadership position in global business education. Prior to Thunderbird, Cabrera served as Dean of IE Business School in Madrid, which he helped propel into the top tier of international business schools. Prior to IE he was a change management consultant with Accenture. Dr. Cabrera earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in psychology and cognitive science from the Georgia Institute of Technology–which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar–and his B.S. and M.S. in computer and electrical engineering from Madrid's Polytechnic University. His extensive publishing in fields ranging from learning technology to psychology, management, and higher education, includes a recent book, "Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World." Dr. Cabrera is an advocate of corporate social responsibility and managerial professionalism.

Morton Collins, Ph.D.
General Partner, Battelle Ventures 

Morton Collins has been a director of Inovio Pharmaceuticals since June 2009. He was a director of VGX Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Inovio in June 2008. Dr. Collins has been a general partner of Battelle Ventures since 2003 and of Innovations Valley Partners since 2005. Over the past 40 years, Dr. Collins has developed broad expertise in venture capital funding of early-stage high-technology companies as a founder and managing partner of five different funds: Developmental Science Ventures I, II, III, and IV, and Cardinal Partners. He was chairman of President Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and served as a technology policy advisor to President George H. W. Bush. He is a former president, director, and chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and currently serves as a director to Kopin Corporation, a nano-semiconductor company, as well as several private companies.

Dr. Collins holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Delaware, and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Engineering from Princeton University.

J. Joseph Kim, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Inovio Pharmaceuticals 

Joseph Kim was appointed President and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in June 2009. Dr. Kim co-founded VGX Pharmaceuticals, a synthetic vaccine company, in 2000 to develop intellectual property licensed from the University of Pennsylvania. He led that company for nine years and combined VGX with Inovio Biomedical in 2009 to form Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Kim previously led manufacturing and process development programs for several FDA-approved products and developmental therapeutics at Merck & Co. These products included FDA-approved vaccines for hepatitis as well as developmental vaccines and therapeutics for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Kim has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a U.S. Senate Honors Scholar. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the Wharton School. Dr. Kim has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, holds numerous patents, and sits on several editorial boards and review panels.

David B. Weiner, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Director, Vaccine Center, The Wistar Institute 

David Weiner is Executive Vice President of The Wistar Institute, Director of its Vaccine Center, and the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust Endowed Professorship in Cancer Research. The Wistar Institute is the nation’s first independent biomedical research institute, NCI-designated Cancer Center, and an international leader in cancer, immunology, and infectious disease research. Previously, Dr. Weiner was Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Chair of the Gene Therapy and Vaccine Program at the University’s Perelman School of Medicine and co-leader of the Tumor Virology Program of the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn. 

Dr. Weiner is a world-renowned leader in immunology as well as gene vaccines and immunotherapy. In scientific circles he is known as the “father of DNA vaccines.” He has more than 350 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, including mainstream scientific journals such as Scientific American, and has been designated by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top-cited scientists in the world. An inventor of more than 100 issued and pending U.S. patents, Dr. Weiner has received numerous honors, including election as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011 and the International Society for Vaccines in 2012. He was the recipient of the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award and the Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Best Academic Research Team at the World Vaccine Congress in 2015 and again in 2016. Weiner was honored with the prestigious Hilleman Lectureship in 2015 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Grand Rounds session and received a Stone Family Award from Abramson Cancer Center for his groundbreaking work on DNA vaccines for cancer immune therapy.

David Weiner holds a Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, an M.S. in biology from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.S. in biology from SUNY at Stony Brook in Stony Brook, New York. 

Wendy L. Yarno, MBA
Former Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Merck & Co., Inc. 

Wendy L. Yarno has over 26 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry with Merck & Co., Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. She has held a number of executive positions in the marketing, sales, human resources, and policy areas. She most recently was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Merck & Co., Inc. and retired from Merck in 2008.

Ms. Yarno has extensive experience as a director on both public and private company boards. She currently is the non-executive Chairman of the Board for Aratana Therapeutics, and is a member of the board of Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Global Blood Therapeutics, and MyoKardia, Inc. She was previously a member of the Board of Directors of St. Jude Medical Inc., Medivation, Inc., Durata Therapeutics, PluroGen Therapeutics and ADial Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Yarno has an MBA from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and a B.S. in Marketing from Portland State University in Portland, OR.

Scientific advisory board

David B. Weiner, Ph.D. 
Executive Vice President, Director, Vaccine Center, The Wistar Institute 

David Weiner is Executive Vice President of The Wistar Institute, Director of its Vaccine Center, and the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust Endowed Professorship in Cancer Research. The Wistar Institute is the nation’s first independent biomedical research institute, NCI-designated Cancer Center, and an international leader in cancer, immunology, and infectious disease research. Previously, Dr. Weiner was Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Chair of the Gene Therapy and Vaccine Program at the University’s Perelman School of Medicine and co-leader of the Tumor Virology Program of the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn. 

Dr. Weiner is a world-renowned leader in immunology as well as gene vaccines and immunotherapy. In scientific circles he is known as the “father of DNA vaccines.” He has more than 350 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, including mainstream scientific journals such as Scientific American, and has been designated by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top-cited scientists in the world. An inventor of more than 100 issued and pending U.S. patents, Dr. Weiner has received numerous honors, including election as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011 and the International Society for Vaccines in 2012. He was the recipient of the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award and the Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Best Academic Research Team at the World Vaccine Congress in 2015 and again in 2016. Weiner was honored with the prestigious Hilleman Lectureship in 2015 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Grand Rounds session and received a Stone Family Award from Abramson Cancer Center for his groundbreaking work on DNA vaccines for cancer immune therapy.

David Weiner holds a Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, an M.S. in biology from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.S. in biology from SUNY at Stony Brook in Stony Brook, New York. 

Anthony Ford-Hutchinson, Ph.D. 
Former Senior Vice President, Vaccines R&D, Merck 

Anthony Ford-Hutchinson has over 30 years' experience in vaccine development and commercialization and was formerly at Merck and Co. During his tenure at Merck, Dr. Ford-Hutchinson played a leadership role in the development of several new blockbuster vaccines, including Gardasil®, Zostavax®, Proquad®, and Rotateq®. He was also responsible for the development of many important Merck drugs, including Singulair®, Arcoxia®, and Isentress® for asthma, pain/inflammation, and the treatment of HIV infection.

Dr. Ford-Hutchinson, who retired from Merck in early 2012, was most recently Senior Vice President, Vaccines Research and Development, and Chairman of the Board of Directors for MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Labs. He has held many other prominent positions at Merck in Canada and the USA, including Executive Vice President for Worldwide Research. He was responsible for all strategic decisions in Merck's vaccine R&D following appointment as franchise head in 2005, producing a pipeline with three vaccines in phase III trials and a number of others in earlier development. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, a Master's in molecular enzymology from the University of Warwick, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of London.

Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D. 
Emeritus Professor, Wistar Institute and University of Pennsylvania 
Principal, Vaxconsult 

Stanley Plotkin developed the rubella vaccine now used worldwide and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines, including polio, rabies, varicella, rotavirus, and cytomegalovirus. He is Emeritus Professor, Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania, and is a principal of Vaxconsult.

Over the course of his career he has served as senior assistant surgeon with the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the U.S. Public Health Service; Chairman of the Infectious Diseases Committee and the AIDS Task Force of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Chairman of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee of the National Institutes of Health; director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Associate Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania; Medical and Scientific Director of Aventis Pasteur; and Executive Advisor to Sanofi Pasteur. Over 600 of his articles have been published, and he has edited several books, including Vaccines, now the standard textbook in the field.

Dr. Plotkin's numerous professional awards include:

  • The medal of the Fondation Mérieux (2007)
  • The Fleming (Bristol) Award of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (2004)
  • The Sabin Foundation Medal (2002)
  • The French Legion Medal of Honor (1998)
  • The Clinical Virology Award, Pan American Group for Rapid Viral Diagnosis (1995)
  • The Distinguished Physician Award, Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (1993)
  • The Bruce Medal of the American College of Physicians (1987)

Dr. Plotkin earned his M.D. at the State University of New York, Downstate College of Medicine, and holds honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Rouen (France). He serves on the Board of Directors of Dynavax and is Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Mymetics, while also serving as an International Society for Vaccines advisor.

Inovio is putting IMMUNO-INGENUITY to work through collaborations with industry, academia, and government.

Partnerships

MedImmune

In 2015, MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, entered into a license agreement and collaboration with Inovio Pharmaceuticals, to acquire exclusive rights to Inovio’s INO-3112 immunotherapy, which targets cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18.  MedImmune intends to study INO-3112 in combination with selected immunotherapy molecules within its pipeline in HPV-driven cancers.  

Within the broader collaboration, MedImmune and Inovio will develop up to two additional DNA-based cancer vaccine products not included in Inovio’s current product pipeline, which MedImmune will have the exclusive rights to develop and commercialise. Inovio will receive development, regulatory and commercialisation milestone payments and will be eligible to receive royalties on worldwide net sales for these additional cancer vaccine products. 

Inovio and MedImmune also have two research and development collaborations in the infectious disease area.  Both efforts are funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and support R&D focused on Ebola, influenza, and bacterial infections.  

Regeneron

In 2017, Inovio and Regeneron entered a clinical study agreement for a Phase 1/2 trial in glioblastoma. This study will be conducted by Inovio in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and will evaluate Regeneron’s PD-1 inhibitor, cemiplimab in combination with Inovio’s INO-5401 T cell activating immunotherapy encoding multiple antigens and INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12. This study will be conducted at  30 U.S. sites and is expected to enroll approximately 50 patients. 

Genentech

In 2017, Inovio and Genentech (a member of the Roche Group) entered a clinical supply collaboration to begin a Phase 1b/2 trial in patients with advanced bladder cancer. In this study, Genentech's PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab will be evaluated in combination with Inovio's INO-5401, a T cell activating immunotherapy encoding multiple antigens, and INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12. This open-label multicenter study is expected to include 80 patients with advanced bladder cancer, and will be managed by Inovio.

The Wistar Institute

Inovio has collaborative research agreements with the Wistar Institute for preventive and therapeutic DNA-based immunotherapy applications and products for cancers and infectious diseases developed by David B. Weiner, Ph.D., and his Wistar laboratory. Dr. Weiner is a pioneer in the field of DNA vaccines, serves as chairman of Inovio’s Scientific Advisory Board, and is a member of Inovio’s Board of directors. His lab continues to design new preventive and therapeutic DNA-based immunotherapy applications and products for cancers and infectious diseases. Inovio will have the exclusive right to in-license new intellectual property developed in this collaboration. Prior to Dr. Weiner's recent move to Wistar, the underlying technology for Inovio’s DNA-based products was first developed at Dr. Weiner’s UPenn laboratory.

University of Pennsylvania 

Inovio has licensed from UPenn exclusive worldwide rights to develop numerous DNA constructs with the potential to treat a broad spectrum of cancers, including breast, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and HPV-associated precancers and cancers, as well as treat and/or prevent human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, human papilloma virus, influenza, cytomegalovirus, malaria, respiratory syncytial virus, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, C. difficile, filoviruses Ebola and Marburg, and novel adjuvants to enhance the effectiveness of DNA vaccines, such as an optimized IL-12 cytokine gene adjuvant.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Inovio two grants amounting to a potential $57 million to develop and assess technology against multiple infectious diseases.

Under a $12.2 million grant, Inovio and MedImmune are collaborating to develop and assess DNA-based monoclonal antibodies for influenza and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This collaboration also involves scientists from the University of Pennsylvania.

Under a $45 million grant, Inovio and MedImmune are developing multiple treatment and prevention approaches against Ebola, including Inovio’s therapeutic DNA-based monoclonal antibody, MedImmune’s protein-based therapeutic monoclonal antibody product, and Inovio's DNA-based vaccine. Other collaborators involved in this program include GeneOne Life Science and its manufacturing subsidiary, VGXI, Inc., the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, and Vanderbilt University.

GeneOne Life Science

Inovio has entered into multiple license and collaboration agreements with GeneOne Life Science, Inc. GeneOne has entered into a license for exclusive rights to VGX-3400X and INO-3510 influenza DNA vaccines, as well as INO-9000 (VGX-6150) hepatitis C DNA immunotherapy in countries in Asia, including Korea. Inovio and GeneOne are also co-developing DNA vaccines for Ebola virus, MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus), and Zika virus. GeneOne is currently sponsoring Phase 1 clinical trials of the GLS-5300 MERS-CoV vaccine at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and a Phase 1/2a study has been approved by the Korean FDA. GeneOne is also sponsoring two Phase 1 clinical trials with the GLS-5700 Zika virus vaccine: one in the continental US (Zika-001) and a second trial in Puerto Rico, a region endemic for Zika (Zika-002). Inovio has an equity interest in GeneOne.

HIV Vaccine Trials Network

The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) funded and conducted clinical trials of Inovio's PENNVAX®-GP HIV DNA vaccine candidate, as well as a preceding proof-of-concept HIV vaccine. The HVTN will also assist Inovio in the clinical trial for Inovio’s PENNVAX®-GP HIV DNA vaccine candidate.

NIAID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health awarded Inovio an HIV Vaccine Design and Development Team (HVDDT) award and provided $23.5 million of funding over seven years (ending in 2015), including a base period and follow-on option years, to develop Inovio's PENNVAX-GP vaccine candidate targeting HIV clades A and C. In 2015, Inovio received follow-on funding of $16 million over five years via an Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development Program (IPCAVD) award in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania/Wistar Institute.

Drexel University

Inovio entered into a license agreement with Drexel University for a novel Clostridium difficile DNA vaccine. This technology is co-owned by the University of Pennsylvania and was developed in the lab of Dr. Michele Kutzler.

ApolloBio

In 2018, Inovio and ApolloBio entered a license and collaboration agreement providing ApolloBio with the exclusive right to develop, manufacture, and commercialize VGX-3100 within Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan). This collaboration of VGX-3100 encompasses the treatment and/or prevention of precancerous HPV infections and HPV-driven dysplasias (including cervical, vulvar and anal precancers) and excludes HPV-driven cancers and all combinations of VGX-3100 with other immunostimulants. The agreement also provides for potential inclusion of the Republic of Korea during the next three years.

Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

In 2018, Inovio and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy entered into a clinical collaboration agreement that provides for Inovio and the Parker Institute to undertake clinical evaluation of novel combination regimens within the field of immuno-oncology. The goal of the partnership is to design innovative studies that have the potential to address cancers with high unmet need.

The collaboration with Inovio represents the Parker Institute’s first agreement within the field of DNA-based Immunotherapeutics. Inovio will benefit from the Parker Institute’s innovative research model which brings together top academic cancer institutions and companies to share resources, data, and technology, accelerate research through unifying and managing clinical trial design, and conduct multi-center clinical trials.

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

In 2018, Inovio and CEPI entered a partnership under which Inovio will develop vaccine candidates against Lassa fever and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). CEPI will fund up to $56,000,000 to support Inovio’s pre-clinical and clinical advancement through Phase 2 of INO-4500, its Lassa fever vaccine, and INO-4700, its MERS vaccine. The shared goal of Inovio and CEPI is for the Lassa and MERS vaccines to be available as soon as possible for emergency use. 

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations founded in Davos in 2017. To date, CEPI has received multi-year funding from Norway, Germany, Japan, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome. CEPI has also received single-year investments from the governments of Australia, Belgium, and Canada.