In a May 8 research note, H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Ram Selvaraju wrote that the efforts being made in general to accelerate development of a coronavirus vaccine "bode well for Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO:NASDAQ), which is advancing a DNA vaccine, INO-4800, to address the unmet need posed by the COVID-19 pandemic."
For instance, Selvaraju pointed out, on May 7, Moderna announced it is finalizing the protocol for a Phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, for which it hopes to start pivotal testing this summer. This disclosure "follows hot on the heels of U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance to conduct a 600-subject Phase 2 trial with mRNA-1273," he added.
As far as the timeline for Inovio's COVID-19 vaccine, the Pennsylvania-based company plans to produce 1 million doses of INO-4800 by year-end 2020, reported Selvaraju. In terms of progress to date with the vaccine, Inovio finished enrollment for its Phase 1 trial, and participants are receiving their initial doses. Interim immune response and safety results could be released in late June. Also, the biotech is carrying out several challenge studies in animal models.
This summer, Inovio plans to launch a Phase 2/3 trial of INO-4800. If the study succeeds, "COVID-19 spread could persist in the coming quarters, and INO-4800 could be used for vaccination across the globe," Selvaraju commented.
The analyst concluded that "Inovio and Moderna may effectively wind up running neck and neck; we also feel that Inovio's DNA vaccine platform could be considered to have certain advantages from an ease of manufacturing and storage standpoint versus a messenger RNA vaccine."
H.C. Wainwright & Co. has a Buy rating and a $17 per share price target on Inovio, the stock of which is currently trading at about $12.19 per share.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., Company Update, May 8, 2020
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, 2020 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 received compensation from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for non-investment banking services in the previous 12 months.
The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as of the date of this research report.