Inovio Analysts Tackle Coronavirus Vaccine Timeline, Funding, Pipeline After Q1 Report

Despite Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc's INO first-quarter miss Monday, the sell-side remains largely upbeat on company, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine candidate. 

The Inovio Analysts

Stifel analyst Stephen Wiley maintained a Buy rating and $19 price target for Inovio shares.

H.C. Wainwright analyst Raghuram Selvaraju reiterated a Buy rating and $17 price target. 

Stifel Sees Viable Pathway For External Funding

The ongoing Phase 1 INO-4800 development program for the new coronavirus is likely to remain a source of continued volatility in the light of the emerging competitive landscape, Stifel analyst Wiley said in a Monday note.

Inovio stated that all healthy volunteers will receive the second dose of INO-4800 by the end of May and preliminary safety and immunogenicity data will be available in late June, the analyst said.

The company expects the vaccine to be available under emergency use authorization by year's end, he said.

Wiley said he sees the impressive Phase 1/2 INO-4700 data in MERS to be presented at the ASGCT virtual conference as one of the better clinical surrogates of INO-4800's safety and immunogenicity.

The analyst said he expects the preliminary Phase 1 INO-4800 safety/immunogenicity data to demonstrate a similarly high seroconversion and neutralization rate.

A viable pathway exists to secure external funding, he said. 

"We expect P2 INO-5401 data at ASCO to appear directionally encouraging (although we have our longer-term reservations here) and still like the risk/reward associated with YE20 topline P3 REVEAL-1 data." 

See also: The Week Ahead In Biotech: Virtual Conference Presentations, Clovis PDUFA Date In The Spotlight

HC Wainwright Looks Ahead To Inovio's Top-Line Data  

Inovio said top-line efficacy data from the REVEAL 1 Phase 3 trial of VGX-3100 for HPV-related cervical dysplasia is on track to be reported in the fourth quarter despite the COVID-19 pandemic, H.C. Wainwright analyst Selvaraju said in a Tuesday note. 

The analyst expects enrollment in the REVEAL 2 Phase 2 trial to return to normal levels once restrictions begin to ease in the U.S. later in the second quarter or in early third quarter.

VGX-3100 remains Inovio's lead program, he said.

The company reported positive Phase 2 data on VGX-3100 in HPV-related vulvar and anal dysplasia in March, Selvaraju said. 

"Looking ahead to the key clinical milestone of REVEAL 1 top-line data, we reiterate our Buy rating and $17 price target." 

INO Price Action

At last check, Inovio shares were rallying 11.18% to $13.23.

Related Link: 5 Biopharmas Where BofA Would Put Its Money To Work

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Posted In: Analyst ColorBiotechEarningsNewsHealth CarePrice TargetReiterationAnalyst RatingsMoversTrading IdeasGeneralCoronavirusCovid-19H.C. WainwrightINO-4800Raghuram SelvarajuStephen WileyStifel