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Citron Questions Inovio's 'Robust' Preclinical Coronavirus Vaccine Announcement, Sees 90% Downside Ahead

Citron Questions Inovio's 'Robust' Preclinical Coronavirus Vaccine Announcement, Sees 90% Downside Ahead

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO) said Wednesday that positive preclinical data for its DNA vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, sending its shares higher.

Inovio's Preclinical Data News Stale? 

Following the announcement, short seller Citron Research came down heavily on the company, stating in its report that the announcement is not a fresh one and calling for the SEC to halt trading in the stock. 

"We immediately began preclinical testing and small-scale manufacture and have already shared robust preclinical data with our public and private partners," Inovio's CEO Dr. Joseph Kim said in a March 3 release.

Citron Sees Tall But Empty Claims From Inovio 

Citron also said the situation is déjà vu. Inovio has been in the habit of sharing press releases highlighting positive animal testing data for "every disease it researches" without producing a single commercial product in 40 years, Citron said in the report, lining up Inovio's previous releases as evidence for its claim.

"Simply put, Inovio is nothing but over 40 years of 'robust' data without a single product to market," Citron said.

Benzinga has contacted Inovio for comment on the Citron report. 

About 90% Downside Likely For Inovio, Short Seller Says 

In a tweet, Citron assigned a $2 price target for the company, which represents about 86% downside from Tuesday's closing price.

Inovio shares were trading 8.73% higher at $15.83 at the time of publication Wednesday. 

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