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Why Inovio Pharmaceuticals Jumped 8.7% Today

By Prosper Junior Bakiny - May 12, 2020 at 4:29PM

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The company is racing through the early stage of the development of its potential vaccine for COVID-19.

What happened

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO -0.48%), a clinical-stage biotech company, rose 8.7% on Tuesday, after the company released its fiscal first-quarter earnings report on Monday. And while Inovio's revenue and net income came in lower than the average analyst estimate, investors remain hopeful that the company will be one of the winners of the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. 

So what

During the first quarter, Inovio recorded revenue of $1.3 million, down about 53% year over year. On average, analysts were expecting the company's revenue to come in at $1.91 million. Also, Inovio reported a net loss of $33.1 million, or $0.26 on a per-share basis, compared with a net loss per share of $0.30 a year ago. Inovio's loss per share came in lower than the $0.22 analysts had been expecting. Despite its revenue and earnings miss, though, Inovio continues to move rapidly through the early stages of the development of its investigational COVID-19 vaccine, INO-4800. 

Microscopic view of the coronavirus.

Image Source: Getty Images.

The company is currently running a phase 1 clinical trial for INO-4800, which will involve 40 healthy adult volunteers, each of whom will receive two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart. The trial will test the safety of INO-4800, as well as its ability to trigger an immune response in the body. Inovio expects preliminary data from this trial in late June, and the biotech company plans on starting a phase 2/3 clinical trial this summer, pending regulatory approval.

Now what

The hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine remains crowded, and other companies are also making headway in their efforts to win this race. Betting on Inovio to come out on top is, at this point, a bit speculative. Investors thinking of buying shares of Inovio should remember that the slightest misstep could send the company's stock off a cliff. 

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