The novel coronavirus has defined 2020, resulting in over 700,000 deaths and trillions of economic damages. Thankfully, we are closer than ever in getting a vaccine. Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) is one of the frontrunners in the vaccine race, recently reporting successful interim phase 1 results for its Covid-19 vaccine, INO-4800. But this is just one part of its extensive therapeutics pipeline, all of which makes INO stock a solid bet.
Although many investors are focusing on its Covid-19 vaccine, there are other reasons for bullishness. Specifically, the company is developing a range of therapeutics in fighting the human papillomavirus (HPV) and its related conditions.
The results for these vaccines have so far been encouraging, which has strengthened the potential of its product pipeline (and the case for INO stock more broadly).
Encouraging Interim Results
In the second quarter, Inovio reported positive interim results on the efficacy of INO-4800. All of the 38 participants who took part in the trial exhibited higher levels of neutralizing antibodies and T-cell activity. Approximately 90% of participants showed meaningful T-cell and antibody responses. The results are currently under peer-review and await publication in a top medical journal.
Additionally, INO-4800 triggered immune responses against the D614G strain of the virus, which currently accounts for more than 80% of cases worldwide. Inovio will begin the second and third phases of its trials in September. The U.S. government and reputable private entities, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, believe in the vaccine’s potential. Collectively, the funding amounts to $93.2 million, which should complement its healthy current asset base of $382 million.
Assuming the trials are successful and the vaccine wins regulatory approval, the INO-4800 could launch in early 2021. Inovio has outlined its goal of producing 100 million doses by 2021. Biotech giant, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) will be supplying 100 million doses to the U.S. government for $19.50 per dose. Therefore, if Inovio sells 100 million doses in 2021 at $20, it could make a whopping $2 billion in revenues.
Not a One-Trick Pony
As mentioned earlier, the Covid-19 vaccine race has completely overshadowed other products in most biotech companies’ pipelines. Inovio is no different as the focus has shifted to its coronavirus vaccine, ignoring other auspicious elements in its pipeline. Perhaps its most promising work relates to the human papillomavirus (HPV) and its related diseases.
HPV is primarily an STD that can potentially lead to pre-cancerous lesions. If left untreated, it could lead to cancer or death in severe cases. Last month, the company announced that its INO-3107 vaccine used to treat Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP), was granted Orphan Drug Designation. RRP is a rare disease, which is caused by HPV 6 and 11.
In developing its HPV drug pipeline, the company will be testing out another investigational drug application, for which it has already secured Food and Drug Administration approval. Moreover, the company is conducting trials to develop therapeutics for other HPV diseases such as cervical dysplasia. Some of the trials are now in more advanced stages, and the results have been published in reputable medical journals.
The Final Word on INO Stock
Things are looking good for INO stock as we head into the latter half of the year. The results for its preliminary tests have been encouraging, and it has collected almost $100 million in grants.
Its asset base is secure, which provides it with enough firepower to see its projects through till the end. Also, its HPV range is a significant long-term play that bolsters its attractiveness as an investment. With high estimates of $36, it’s best to grab the stock now when it’s trading at a discount.
Muslim Farooque is a keen investor and an optimist at heart. A life-long gamer and tech enthusiast, he has a particular affinity for analyzing technology stocks. Muslim holds a bachelor’s of science degree in applied accounting from Oxford Brookes University. He does not directly own the securities mentioned above.