It hasn’t been easy to stay invested in Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) lately. The share price of INO stock has fallen quite a lot from its high point in June. It just goes to show that only traders with strong risk tolerance should bet on Covid-19 vaccine stocks.
I’ve been tracking the progress of the company’s flagship novel coronavirus vaccine candidate, INO-4800, for a while now. Back in early August, I reported that there were more than 140 coronavirus vaccines in development (thanks to InvestorPlace contributor Jamie Johnson for that one).
At that time, the flavor of the month among coronavirus stock traders was Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). To a large degree, the fall-off in the INO stock price is due to fierce competition from Moderna as well as Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) and AstraZeneca’s (NYSE:AZN).
If heavy competition shook some investors out of the trade with INO stock, perhaps a rousing speech from Inovio’s chief executive might bring them back into the fold. After all, sometimes it just takes a few encouraging words to turn a stock around.
A Closer Look at INO Stock
The price action of INO stock paints a clear picture of what some commentators would call a “coronavirus stock.” In the lead-up to the onset of Covid-19, there simply wasn’t much buzz surrounding Inovio and the share price reflected that lack of enthusiasm.
Thus, INO stock traded at just $3 and change in early February of this year. When Inovio pivoted to a business model that focused on addressing Covid-19, the share price moved upward quickly and it hasn’t touched the $3 area again, so far.
The 52-week high for INO stock was touched in June when the shares reached $33.79. As it turns out, that run-up might have been a case of too far, too fast.
Moreover, as we already touched upon, strong competition from other biopharmaceutical companies likely contributed to the rapid decline in INO stock. Interestingly, the share price of INO closed at exactly $17 on Sept. 18. This means that it’s possible for traders to own the stock at a discount compared to INO’s summertime peak.
The price action suggests that Inovio was somewhat out of favor not too long ago. However, judging from the response to Inovio CEO Joseph Kim’s recent speech at the H.C. Wainwright 22nd Annual Global Investment Conference, it appears that the trading community might get fired up about INO stock again soon.
Some of key points that Kim conveyed during his talk at the conference should, hopefully, get investors’ hopes up. For one thing, Kim declared that Inovio has “the only DNA vaccine that has shown to have thermal stability with shelf life of five years at refrigeration conditions and stabilized room temperature for a year.”
This level of product durability and viability is significant. Moreover, Kim added that Inovio’s products also remain stable at room temperature.
The CEO continued by reporting that Inovio is pursuing cancer-focused therapeutics, including ones addressing glioblastoma and prostate cancer. In fact, Inovio’s prostate therapeutics program has already advanced to Phase 2 clinical trials.
But let’s not kid ourselves. What investors and the public want right now is a Covid-19 vaccine. To the trading community, nearly everything else is taking a back seat.
Fortunately, according to Inovio’s CEO, there’s positive news on that front. Evidently, Inovio already submitted a peer-reviewed paper from the Phase 1 trials. Moreover, the company is hopeful that the peer review and publication process could be completed within the next few weeks.
Finally, Kim dropped a bombshell regarding the INO-4800 Covid-19 vaccine candidate, saying, “we were waiting for the FDA clearance concurrence to start the Phase 2/3 trials in the U.S. in September and we are very confident that we will be able to do this with external funding.”
This is a bold prediction, but Kim’s high level of confidence should galvanize INO stock traders. If you’re betting on INO-4800 in the coronavirus vaccine horse race, then it’s nice to know that Inovio’s chief executive is brimming with enthusiasm.
The Bottom Line
No doubt about it, it’s been a challenging time for INO stock holders. The competition to develop a successful Covid-19 vaccine is relentless.
Yet, it’s important to appreciate the progress that Inovio has made in this area. And if the CEO’s confidence is justified, then the INO stock price should increase in the near future.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.