3 Game-Changing Stories That Shook Investors: Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences, and GlaxoSmithKline

The health care sector saw a flurry of major news yesterday. Here are three key stories that investors may have missed.

Jul 24, 2014 at 2:05PM

The health care sector exploded with major news events yesterday, fueled by second-quarter earnings, clinical trial updates, and even unexpected regulatory events.

Given that the day's headlines seemed to be dominated by Puma Biotechnology's stunning 295% pop and Gilead Sciences' (NASDAQ:GILD) revenue bonanza in the second-quarter, there are undoubtedly some important stories that got buried under this avalanche of news. With that in mind, let's take a look at three huge stories investors might have missed yesterday.

Inovio reports positive mid-stage results for VGX-3100
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) released the long-awaited mid-stage results for its DNA-based vaccine VGX-3100 yesterday as a potential treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3 (CIN2/3).

By the looks of it, Inovio fans didn't miss this pivotal news given that shares soared by over 17% on heavy volume. Even so, the company's market cap at the end of the day still stood well below its peers in the vaccine development business at around $788 million. Put simply, the broader market either wasn't paying attention or perhaps it wasn't impressed with the results. Time will tell. 

Digging into the press release, we learned that VGX-3100 led to histological regression in 53 of 107 women treated with the vaccine compared to 11 of 36 receiving a placebo. According to the company, this difference was statistically significant, warranting a late-stage study of the vaccine. Most importantly, this result provides some of the first hard evidence that DNA-based vaccines may yet have a place in the clinic for use in humans.  

Gilead's new cancer drug overshadowed by Sovaldi
On a busy day for Gilead, the company announced that its blood cancer drug, Zydelig, received accelerated approval by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia, relapsed follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and small lymphocytic lymphoma. Even so, this major milestone for the company in the field of oncology was vastly overshadowed by the record-breaking sales performance of Sovaldi.  

Although Zydelig will be employed as a second or third-line therapy depending on the specific cancer type, it is still expected to generate sales close to $700 million a year. Put simply, this is a new drug in Gilead's portfolio worth keeping tabs on going forward. 

According to Gilead's second-quarter earnings release, the company is ready to begin promoting the drug immediately, and it's on track to potentially gain approval in Europe as well. As such, we'll probably see Zydelig contribute to Gilead's top-line growth before year's end.

GlaxoSmithKline has one of its worst quarters in recent history
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) fell by nearly 6% yesterday after the company reported dismal second-quarter numbers and lowered its outlook for the remainder of the year. Yesterday's drop was the stock's biggest decline in nearly six years.

As I previously mentioned, Glaxo is facing a host of problems, including generic competition for former star products like Lovaza, weak commercial performance of new respiratory medicines, and of course, the ongoing Chinese probe. And yesterday's report, we also learned that a strong pound is hurting profitability on U.S. product sales in a big way, with pharmaceutical and vaccine revenues in the U.S. dropping by 10%.  

Foolish wrap-up
The fast and furious pace of yesterday's news might have pushed these stories off the front page, but their importance going forward shouldn't be overlooked by the investing community. Inovio's clinical breakthrough could drive shares much higher as it continues to develop additional products based on this same technology. And Gilead's FDA approval for Zydelig marks the company's entry into the growing oncology market, where it is developing a host of intriguing clinical candidates. Finally, Glaxo's slumping product sales and unfavorable exchange rates are certainly key issues for investors to keep track of moving forward.  

Leaked: This coming blockbuster will make every biotech jealous
The best biotech investors consistently reap gigantic profits by recognizing true potential earlier and more accurately than anyone else. Let me cut right to the chase. There is a product in development that will revolutionize not just how we treat a common chronic illness, but potentially the entire health industry. Analysts are already licking their chops at the sales potential. In order to outsmart Wall Street and realize multi-bagger returns you will need The Motley Fool's new free report on the dream-team responsible for this game-changing blockbuster. CLICK HERE NOW.


George Budwell has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool owns shares of Gilead Sciences. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers