Ram Selvaraju, an analyst with H.C. Wainwright & Co., explained the recently released data from a study of one of this immunotherapy firm's therapeutics.
In a May 16, 2018 research note, analyst Ram Selvaraju with H.C. Wainwright & Co. reported that Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO:NASDAQ) HIV vaccine, PENNVAX-GP, "delivers robust and durable immune responses."
At the recent HIV Vaccine Trials Network's 2018 meeting in Washington, D.C., new data were presented from Inovio's HVTN 098 study, or the Phase 1 trial of PENNVAX-GP, a combination of four HIV antigens. They show the vaccine "elicited robust T cell and antibody responses that last for a full six months after the last dose, indicating durable vaccine-generated memory responses," Selvaraju noted. The results further validate Inovio's Antigen Specific Immune Responses, or ASPIRE, technology platform.
This multicenter study, HVTN 098, was randomized and placebo controlled. Of the 94 participants, 85 received the vaccine, nine got a placebo. The trial objectives were to "characterize and optimize a four-dose regimen of PENNVAX-GP" administered intradermally or intramuscularly in combination with the immune activator interleukin-12, Selvaraju noted.
Almost all participants had detectable CD4+ T cell and antibody responses; more than half had CD8+ T cell responses. Selvaraju relayed that "the percentage of patients who had CD8+ T cell responses immediately after the last dose stayed the same or even increased slightly over the six month follow-up period." He concluded, "Further studies are needed to determine if PENNVAX-GP can safely and effectively prevent HIV infection."
Also of note regarding Inovio, two sets of data are to be presented in June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago. One is from the trial of Inovio's INO-5150 in prostate cancer patients. The other is from MedImmune's study of MEDI0457 in combination with Imfinzi in patients with metastatic, HPV-associated, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with persistent or recurrent disease post chemotherapy. "This study has advanced to the Phase 2 efficacy stage, which triggered a milestone payment to Inovio," wrote Selvaraju.
H.C. Wainwright & Co. has a Buy rating and a $13 per share price target on Inovio, whose stock is trading today at around $4.83 a share.
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., May 16, 2018
Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.
I, Raghuram Selvaraju, Ph.D. and Yi Chen, Ph.D. CFA , certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst’s household has a financial interest in the securities of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of April 30, 2018 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did receive compensation from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, and will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC managed or co-managed a public offering of securities for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. during the past 12 months.
The Firm does not make a market in Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as of the date of this research report.