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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

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.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

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. It's also featured on several dozen 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 ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers