Inovio Advances New DNA-Based Antibody As Potential Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Inovio Advances New DNA-Based Antibody As Potential Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Inovio Pharmaceuticals reported that its experimental gene therapy-based antibody against prostate cancer has shown promising effects in early mouse studies of the approach, which combines advanced methods to combat cancer. Instead of providing injections of a cancer-fighting antibody, the company has developed an approach in which the body’s cells produce the antibody. This method also is used to develop treatments for infectious diseases. A research article, “Novel prostate cancer immunotherapy with a DNA-encoded anti‑prostate‑specific membrane antigen monoclonal antibody,” recently showed that mice treated with the compound started producing antibodies against prostate‑specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which controlled tumor growth and prolonged survival. The work, conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, was published in the journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy. Inovio calls the approach a DNA-based monoclonal antibody (dMAb) product. It is composed of a man-made piece of DNA — the gene encoding the desired antibody — in the form of a plasmid. Plasmids are small circular DNA pieces that can be directly injected into tissues. Directly following injection into the muscle, researchers use a method called electroporation to make cells take up and incorporate the new piece of DNA into the genome. A weak and brief electric current make cells open up their membranes, which allows them to take up foreign piece
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