DNA Medicines Technology

Optimized Plasmid
Design and Delivery

INOVIO is focused on developing and commercializing DNA medicines to potentially help treat or protect people from infectious diseases, cancer, and diseases associated with HPV.

INOVIO’s DNA medicines in development are precisely designed DNA plasmids delivered through INOVIO’s proprietary investigational smart device directly into the body’s cells to produce an immune response to potentially help treat or prevent disease.


INOVIO’s DNA medicines in development are made using a process called SynCon®. SynCon uses a proprietary computer algorithm that has been designed to identify and optimize the DNA sequence of the target antigen, whether it is a virus or a tumor. Once this sequence has been determined, the DNA is synthesized or reorganized, and manufacturing can begin.


INOVIO’s DNA medicines in development are designed to deliver optimized plasmids directly into cells intramuscularly or intradermally using one of INOVIO’s proprietary investigational hand-held CELLECTRA® smart devices. The CELLECTRA device uses brief electrical pulses to reversibly open small pores in the cell to allow the plasmids to enter, potentially overcoming a key limitation of other DNA and other nucleic acid approaches. For intramuscular delivery, INOVIO uses its investigational CELLECTRA 5PSP. This is the approach used in Phase 3 clinical trials for VGX-3100. INOVIO is developing its nextgeneration investigational CELLECTRA 3PSP for intradermal delivery.


INOVIO’s DNA medicines in development are designed to deliver optimized plasmids directly into cells intramuscularly or intradermally using one of INOVIO’s proprietary investigational hand-held CELLECTRA smart devices. Once inside the cell, the DNA plasmids enable the cell to produce the targeted antigen. The antigen is processed naturally in the cell and triggers the T cell and antibody-mediated immune response. Administration with the CELLECTRA device helps ensure that the DNA medicine is efficiently delivered directly into the body’s cells, where it can go to work to drive an immune response.



The potential advantages of INOVIO’s DNA medicine platform are how fast DNA medicines can be designed and manufactured; the stability of the products, which do not require freezing in storage and transport; and the immune response and tolerability that have been demonstrated in clinical trials.


  • Cross-reactive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells
  • Binding & neutralizing antibodies


  • Demonstrated safety and tolerability across multiple programs and trials using various plasmids
  • No potential antiviral vector response


  • No frozen storage issues
  • Rapid development from concept to human in less than 3 months (COVID-19 vaccine candidate)
  • Relatively inexpensive to manufacture and to produce in large quantities


  • Able to target virtually any antigenic sequence; can combine multi-antigens into single vial
  • First-in-human study of optimized dMAb™ plasmid initiated
  • No anti-vector response — may allow for repeat boosting


Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), one of the most valuable therapeutic technologies in recent years, are designed to enhance the immune system’s ability to regulate cell functions. However, mAb technology has potential limitations including costly large-scale laboratory development and production, limited duration of in vivo potency, and a pharmacokinetic profile that can result in toxicity.

INOVIO has created DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (dMAbs) that we believe may overcome many of the limitations associated with conventional mAb technology:

  • Using our core DNA medicines technology, we encode the DNA sequence for a specific monoclonal antibody in a DNA plasmid. We deliver the plasmid directly into cells of the body using our investigational CELLECTRA device, enabling these cells to manufacture the mAbs in vivo – unlike conventional mAb technology that requires manufacture outside of the body.
  • This approach provides potential advantages in terms of lower production costs, as well as the ability to target a pharmacokinetic profile that provides control in terms of dosing regimen, peak responses, duration of responses, and toxicity.
  • Additional potential advantages include faster and easier engineering and construction of the newest mAb-related biologics, such as bispecific T Cell Antibodies (dBTAs)