What happened

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:INO), 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.

Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.