Why Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc Stock Livened Up Today

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What: Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO  ) , a clinical-stage biotech developer, jumped by more than 12.3% today after the company announced that its phase 2 trial of VGX-3100, a therapy designed to fight precancerous cervical lesions, succeeded in meeting its primary endpoints.

So What: VGX-3100 is designed to combat cervical dysplasia and other problems caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Inovio chalked up a success doing just that in its clinical trial, reporting that more than 49% of patients treated with VGX-3100 saw a reduction of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3, or CIN2/3, fall back to levels of CIN1 or to no signs of the disease at all. In contrast, a placebo-treated group responded with a 30% reduction rate to those disease levels. Inovio also noted strong tolerance of the therapy by patients, with little in the way of side effects as compared to the placebo group.

Now What: The study success is a big win for Inovio, which boasts a handful of products in its pipeline but none as far along in development as VGX-3100. While today's positive note is no guarantee of approval for the therapy just yet, it goes a long way to helping Inovio's push for eventual approval – particularly in a market lacking a therapeutic offering to fight HPV.

As Inovio notes, both GlaxoSmithKline's (NYSE: GSK  ) Cervarix and Merck's Gardasil, major players in today's HPV market, prevent against the disease rather than treating it after it's set in, opening up a currently unmet niche for Inovio to capitalize on if it can keep up its success in this area going forward. With up to 400,000 cases of CIN2 and 3 cropping up each year in the U.S., VGX-3100 has the potential to make waves in the market: Analysts have pegged possible peak sales at $540 million or more, and given Gardasil's blockbuster success on the market, VGX-3100 could surprise with its upside if approved down the road.

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  • Report this Comment On July 23, 2014, at 2:53 PM, roadflea1 wrote:

    This an amazing set of events, for mankind that such a terrible disease could possibly be controlled. Now just waiting on the Prostate Cancer

    research with Roche.

  • Report this Comment On July 23, 2014, at 5:24 PM, Cytotoxic wrote:

    Those results are not significant, this treatment has not shown any startling results that you would expect from a HPV pre cancer vaccine that the body it self can treat in 30 to 40% of patients Against cancer these Cd8 T cells are just not good enough, cancer is far more hostile to the immune system than HPV.

    I am afraid Roche will look at this data as a failure ..they know the immune response has to be spectacular to overcome cancer even with PD1 ..i suggest you do some research and find the real winners in DNA vaccines ... Ichor has the data

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Dan Carroll

Dan began writing for the Motley Fool in 2012. He is a health care specialist who also follows the defense industry along with tracking the broader U.S. and international markets.

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