What happened

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO -4.88%) were jumping 8.1% higher as of 12:53 p.m. EDT on Monday. The nice gain came after the company announced that it has received regulatory allowances to begin two clinical trials evaluating experimental COVID-19 vaccine INO-4800 in China.

So what

Inovio said that China's Center for Drug Evaluation of the National Medical Products Administration gave the green light for two clinical studies featuring INO-4800. Both studies will test Inovio's vaccine as a booster to Sinovac's CoronaVac.

A healthcare professional wearing a face shield giving a vaccine to a person.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company's partner, Advaccine Biopharmaceuticals Suzhou, is sponsoring these studies along with Sinovac. Inovio and Advaccine are already working together on a global phase 3 study evaluating INO-4800.

It's too soon to know how the latest studies in China will pan out. However, with the rise of the delta variant and concerns about the potential for other coronavirus variants to emerge, the testing of these vaccines with different mechanisms of action appears to be a prudent move.

Now what

Investors won't have to wait very long at all for more news that could serve as a potential catalyst for the biotech stock. Inovio reports its second-quarter results after the market close today.