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Inovio CEO Talks COVID-19 Vaccine Trials; Stock Up 20%

Inovio CEO Talks COVID-19 Vaccine Trials; Stock Up 20%

Editor's note: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect Inovio CEO Joseph Kim's comments on testing of a coronavirus vaccine in China. 

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO), which is developing a DNA vaccine for the novel coronavirus, are on a strong three-day run. 

Inovio CEO Talks Up Vaccine Program: The Phase 1 trial in the U.S. is complete, and an early stage study in South Korea that began in the summer is ongoing, Inovio CEO Joseph Kim said Monday at the H.C. Wainwright 22nd Annual Global Investor Conference.

Testing of INO-4800 has been approved by regulators in China, and patient recruitment should start this month, the CEO said. 

Underlining Inovio's competitive advantage, Kim said INO-4000 produces balanced immune responses, generating both neutralizing antibodies and T-cells; is safe; and can be stored at room temperature.

The company is awaiting FDA approval to initiate Phase 2/3 trials in the U.S. in September, and the trials are likely to be externally funded, he said. 

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Inovio Partakes In Across-The-Board Vaccine Rally: Shares of coronavirus vaccine makers advanced solidly Sept. 9 in the wake of AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) stalling a late-stage trial of its candidate due to safety concerns.

Following the development, stocks in the space have traded broadly higher.

AstraZeneca has since resumed the trial following a regulatory go-ahead. Additionally, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), which is collaborating with German biopharma BioNTech SE – ADR (NASDAQ: BNTX, announced an increase to the targeted enrollment in the large-scale Phase 3 trial of its vaccine candidate.

Some of the strength in Inovio shares is attributable to the positive sentiment toward vaccine makers in general.

INO Price Action: Inovio shares gained 20.41% in Tuesday's session, ending at $13.63.


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