Editor’s note: This article was updated on Sept. 30, 2020, to include more updated information.
Biotechnology company Inovio Pharmeuticals (NASDAQ:INO) is known worldwide as an innovative developer of medical solutions based on DNA science. Of particular focus to INO stock investors is INO-4800, which is Inovio’s DNA-based vaccine candidate for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Back in late July, Inovio made the headlines when a study found that INO-4800 may reduce viral loads in non-human primates. One would think that with this announcement, INO stock should ramp up over the coming weeks.
However, sometimes things don’t work out as expected in the markets. Interestingly, even after such encouraging clinical results, INO stock dropped in August and early September. Most likely, a major contributing factor was progress made by some of Inovio’s competitors in working towards a successful Covid-19 vaccine. And even more recently, a partial hold on trials of its Covid-19 vaccine cost shares roughly a third of their worth.
Yet, this isn’t the end of the story. Some recently released comments from CEO Joseph Kim suggest that INO-4800 could still be a game changer. Plus, once trials can proceed, Inovio has a value-added partner in its push to manufacture as many doses of INO-4800 as needed.
INO Stock at a Glance
Is INO stock on the comeback trail? The price action seems to indicate that the bulls are indeed wresting control back from the sellers. At the same time, it’s nice to be able to buy INO shares below the 52-week high of $33.79.
As we now know in hindsight, the ascent of INO stock from $14 to $31 in late June was too steep and too fast. While market participants focused on Inovio’s peers in the Covid-19 vaccine horse race, the INO share price cooled off.
Bear in mind that INO stock is a fast mover. On Sept. 25, for instance, INO gained 10% and that’s not unusual for this stock. Therefore, while it’s true that INO declined quickly, it could climb back up just as fast.
Moving to the Next Phase
Until the trial halted, September had been an excellent month for Inovio. During this month, Joseph Kim presented at the Cantor Virtual Global Healthcare Conference and it’s fair to say that he knocked it out of the park.
INO stock holders were undoubtedly hoping to hear some encouraging words regarding INO-4800. They were not disappointed as Kim revealed, “So we actually have submitted our application or for Phase 2/3. And we are planning to initiate the Phase 2/3 trials this month in September, subject to the FDA concurrence to proceed.”
Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn’t guaranteed, of course. Moreover, Kim stated that Inovio expects “to have external funding, non-dilutive to help us support the execution of Phase 2, 3 trials” sometime in September.
100 Million Reasons to Like Inovio
Thermo Fisher Scientific certainly won’t be the only company helping to manufacture INO-4800. Indeed, Inovio already has a sizable global consortium of third-party manufacturers for its drugs.
According to the press release, “At peak capacity, Thermo Fisher projects that it could produce at least 100 million doses of INO-4800 annually.” That’s an astonishing number.
It makes perfect sense for Inovio to have multiple manufacturers involved in producing INO-4800. Doing so could help Inovio bring the vaccine to the public in a timely and cost-effective manner.
With a value-added partner in Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inovio could be an important piece of the puzzle of getting a Covid-19 vaccine to the waiting public.
We do need to see what happens with the paused trials — if they can’t restart, then all this goes out the window. But there’s going to be a lot of space in the Covid-19 vaccine world, and if things get moving again, then the selloff could be a great entry point.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system — with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the “Master Key” to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.