What happened

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) closed up by nearly 5% on Thursday. Investors were cheered by the company's news that it has drafted a new partner to help manufacture its INO-4800, assuming of course that it eventually wins approval from major regulators.

So what

The new addition to the list of potential INO-4800 makers is Kaneka Eurogentec, an affiliate of Japanese chemical manufacturing company Kaneka. Kaneka joins an international consortium made up of U.S.-headquartered Thermo Fisher Scientific and Ology Bioservices, and Germany's Richter-Helm BioLogics.

A researcher studying a sample in a petri dish.

Image source: Getty Images.

According to an Inovio press release, "Each contract development and manufacturing organization that has been selected to join the consortium is compliant with commercial [Good Manufacturing Practices] standards and capable of supporting Inovio's future large-scale global manufacturing needs across its portfolio of DNA medicines and vaccines."

The company did not reveal the terms of its agreement with Kaneka, nor did it state how many doses of INO-4800 could be produced by the expanded consortium.

Now what

It's heartening that there's a new manufacturer on board for Inovio's production of both the coronavirus vaccine candidate and its other projects. However, we don't know enough to gauge how this will impact the biotech's business or the broader landscape of coronavirus vaccine distribution, so investors should temper their enthusiasm somewhat.

We should also bear in mind that INO-4800 is still some distance from potential approval, as it only recently was allowed to enter phase 2 clinical testing following a hold placed on it by the FDA.

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