Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO:NASDAQ) announced its "DNA-based monoclonal antibody [dMAb] product for flu produced broadly cross-reactive antibodies that provided complete protection from a lethal challenge with multiple viruses from both influenza A and B types in a preclinical study," in a July 6 press release.
The results of the preclinical study were published in the journal npj Vaccines.
Inovio's dMAb products "provide cross-strain protection and may offer prevention against unexpected changes of seasonal influenza strains," H. C. Wainwright analyst Raghuram (Ram) Selvaraju stated in a July 7 research report. "We note that these data corroborate previous positive findings on dMAb products designed for HIV, dengue, and Chikungunya, and further validate the dMAb platform that aims to deliver DNA sequences that encode and rapidly generate therapeutic monoclonal antibodies directly in the recipients."
"Management expects to advance the first dMab product—the therapeutic Ebola product—into a human study in 2018," Selvaraju wrote. Inovio's Ebola therapy is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The dMAb products work in tandem with the company's DNA vaccines, "which attempt to incite the production of antibodies through the immune system," according to the company press release. "In the case of influenza and other infectious disease, a dMAb product may provide immediate and short term protection while a DNA vaccine may provide long term immune memory and protection. Both products can be encoded to provide cross-strain protection."
"These data suggest that passive immunization that results in broadly neutralizing anti-influenza monoclonal antibodies could complement or bypass traditional immunization against influenza, which typically seeks universal protection through recombinant antigens," Selvaraju stated, further noting that "dMab products are inexpensive to produce, since DNA replication does not require mammalian cell culture." According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza vaccines are most commonly made "using an egg-based manufacturing process that has been used for more than 70 years."
"With respect to influenza, our dMAb product offers a new game-changing model to address seasonal and pandemic influenza with a single dose," Inovio's CEO, Dr. Joseph Kim, stated in the release.
H. C. Wainwright rates Inovio a Buy with a $13 price target. Inovio stock currently trades at ~$7.80 per share.
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., Company Update, July 7, 2017
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 June 30, 2017, 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 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.