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Here's Why Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. Fell 21.3% in November

By Cory Renauer - Dec 12, 2017 at 1:35PM

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A flurry of research progress couldn't distract investors from a larger-than-expected loss.

What happened

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO 9.25%), a biopharmaceutical company developing vaccines, fell 21.3% in November according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Despite reporting some important pipeline progress investors weren't pleased with the company's widening losses.

So what 

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s third-quarter loss grew 64% to $34.1 million from $20.8 million last year. Without product sales to smooth out the bumps, Inovio's top line is prone to exceptional lumpiness from one quarter to the next as it recognizes various one-time cash infusions from collaboration partners.

A downward trending graph drawn on a blackboard.

Image source: Getty Images.

Although total operating expenses remained relatively stable, the wider than expected loss served as a reminder that this company's operating expenses could grow significantly as it advances 10 new drug candidates in clinical-stage development.

Now what

This June, Inovio finally began a long-awaited phase 3 trial with the most advanced vaccine candidate in its development pipeline, VGX-3100 for the treatment of cervical pre-cancer caused by human papillomavirus. Enrolling 198 patients across 100 study centers around the globe isn't going to be cheap.

The company lost $66.7 million during the first nine months of the year. With just $141.9 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments on its balance sheet at the end of September, I wouldn't be surprised if Inovio announces another value diluting secondary offering in 2018.

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