What happened

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO -0.32%) were down more than 10% on Tuesday afternoon, falling to a 52-week low of $0.07036 a share at one point. The biotechnology company specializes in developing DNA medicines to treat people with human papillomavirus (HPV) diseases, cancer, and infectious diseases.

So what

The stock has been struggling anyway, and is down more than 81% over the past year. When the company announced on Monday that it was offering Dr. Cheryl Elder, its newly hired senior vice president for regulatory affairs, stock options under its 2022 Inducement Plan, the stock dropped again. The problem for investors is that stock options dilute the shares that they own.

Now what

The company's shares have been declining since it announced its fourth-quarter and year-end report on March 1. The key to the slump was that Inovio said its Phase 3 trial for VGX-3100 to treat cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) did not meet its primary endpoint. SILs are areas of abnormal tissue on the skin inside of the body that are precancerous.

As far as the rest of the report, the company said it had $253 million in cash, enough to fund operations into the first quarter of 2025. It also reported revenue of $125,000 in the quarter, down 85.1% year over year. For the year, revenue was $10.3 million, compared to $1.8 million in 2021, thanks to Inovio's $71 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for its Cellectra 3PSP smart devices and Cellectra 2000 devices, used to deliver the company's experimental COVID-19 vaccine under the skin.

However, that contract has now been fulfilled, so Inovio, which has no marketed products, will need to find a new source of revenue. The company had a loss of $54.5 million in the quarter and $303.7 million for the year.