In a Feb. 22 research report, H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Ram Selvaraju reported that Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s subsidiary, Geneos Therapeutics, closed the $10.5 million in Series A funding led by Santé Ventures and joined by Inovio.
With completion of the funding, Geneos became independent of Inovio. However, Inovio still owns a large part of Geneos, and therefore, any positive developments at Geneos would translate into value for Inovio shares, Selvaraju pointed out. Additionally, Inovio no longer needs to provide capital to Geneos.
Geneos, the only licensee of Inovio's DNA-based immunotherapy platform, will use the funds to "develop the next generation of neoantigen-targeting cancer immunotherapies tailored to each patient's own tumor mutations," explained Selvaraju. "We believe the funding should allow Geneos to complete investigational new drug-enabling research towards the initiation of first-in-human studies."
The platform for patient-specific, tumor-targeted immunotherapies can induce potent and broad T cell immune responses, target numerous neoantigens in a single formulation and be manufactured rapidly, Selvaraju noted. The technology has shown positive results in preclinical testing.
In other Inovio news, the first patient has been dosed in the trial of its INO-A002 for the prevention or treatment of Zika virus infection. "Data from this first-ever human study of a dMAb product could provide constructive and validating information for the platform," Selvaraju commented.
H.C. Wainwright & Co. has a Buy rating and a $13 per share price target on Inovio, whose stock currently trades at around $3.61 per share.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., Company Update, February 22, 2019
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 January 31, 2019 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.