Don’t Sleep on Inovio Pharmaceuticals as a Serious Vaccine Contender

There’s no denying that Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:INO) stakeholders endured a roller-coaster ride in 2020. There were good times and bad times for holders of INO stock. The good times were terrific, but the year didn’t necessarily end on a high note.

Inovio (INO) logo next to pills and face masks
Source: Ascannio /

Does this mean that the good times are over? Not necessarily, as Inovio’s still working diligently to advance INO-4800, the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate and for all intents and purposes, its flagship product.

Some financial commentators like to refer to the novel coronavirus vaccine “horse race,” but that might not be the best description. After all, there may be room for more than one winner here.

Inovio’s success in marketing INO-4800 will depend largely on this drug being different from what other Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers have to offer. Fortunately, there is a major difference that could help make INO-4800 a success, and that’s potentially very good news for INO stockholders.

INO Stock at a Glance

It’s fair to say that INO stock is truly a Covid-19 stock. Prior to the onset of the coronavirus, traders and commentators didn’t have much to say about Inovio.

This was reflected in the share price, which languished below the $5 level. That’s a key price point because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission classifies a stock that trading for less than $5 as a penny stock.

Inovio treated the first human subject with INO-4800 during a Phase 1 trial on April 6. By that time, INO stock had already escaped penny-stock status and was climbing fast.

A breathtaking surge followed in which the buyers bid INO stock all the way up to $33.79 in June. In hindsight, we can see that this was too far, too fast and a retracement was warranted.

Fast-forward to the close of the market on Dec. 30, and INO stock settled at exactly $9. Is this a proverbial falling knife, or a rare buying opportunity? A closer look at the latest developments surrounding INO-4800 might offer some clues.

At Last, Positive Results

There’s no point denying it. Sure, Inovio has other medicines in the pipeline. However, what INO stock traders want, and have been waiting for, is positive clinical results for INO-4800.

Month after month, it seemed that other Covid-19 vaccine developers were making faster progress than Inovio. Yet, sometimes it’s the quieter companies that can offer up the biggest surprises.

Thankfully, on Dec. 24 INO stock holders received a nice holiday gift in the form of a long-awaited press release revealing the data on INO-4800’s Phase 1 trial.

The data was in reference to the first cohort of 40 participants for the Phase 1 trial of INO-4800. And, the data found “a favorable safety and tolerability profile with no serious adverse events reported” while “only six Grade 1 adverse events (AEs) were observed, primarily minor injection site reactions.”

Temperature Is the Key

Investors undoubtedly want to know about the antibodies in the Phase 1 trial of INO-4800. To that end, Inovio reported that the “1.0 mg and 2.0 mg dose group both demonstrated seroconversion in 95% of the subjects, respectively, with 78% demonstrating neutralizing antibodies in the 1.0 mg dose group and 84% demonstrating neutralizing antibodies in the 2.0 mg dose group.”

Those are good numbers, but the news only gets better from here. What differentiates INO-4800 from some other drugmakers’ Covid-19 vaccine candidates is its ability to be stored at room temperature.

Specifically, Inovio reported that INO-4800 will remain stable at room temperature for over a year. That’s something you won’t hear with some well-known competitors’ Covid-19 vaccines.

Could INO-4800 provide a watershed moment in the global battle against the Covid-19 pandemic? Offering a vaccine that doesn’t necessarily require freezing temperatures could be a huge step forward.

The Takeaway

Staying the course with INO stock hasn’t been easy, but there’s reason to believe that Inovio offers a truly unique Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

With that, there’s hope on the horizon for INO stockholders as more than one winner in the so-called vaccine horse race could emerge in 2021.

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.

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