Inovio Strikes Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturing Deal With Kaneka Unit

Inovio Strikes Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturing Deal With Kaneka Unit

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc INO, which is developing a DNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, issued an update on its vaccine program Thursday, sending the stock higher. 

What Happened: The Plymouth, Pennsylvania-based company said it has executed an agreement with Kaneka Eurogentec, an affiliate of Japanese chemicals company Kaneka Corp., for manufacturing INO-4800 at Kaneka Eurogentec's GMP plasmid production scales.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Our partnership with Kaneka Eurogentec, one of the world's largest and most experienced plasmid manufacturers, provides additional scale to our growing global manufacturing coalition," Inovio CEO Dr. Joseph Kim said in a statement. 

Inovio counts Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO, Richter-Helm BioLogics and Ology Biosciences among its manufacturing partners. 

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Why It's Important: These partnerships were stitched up after Inovio had issues with South Korean CDMO VGXI, Inc. over the latter's inability to scale up.

Additionally, the company announced in mid-November the FDA lifted its partial clinical hold imposed on the Phase 2 portion of the Phase 2/3 study of INO-4800.

Rival vaccine developers Pfizer Inc. PFE-BioNTech SE – ADR BNTX and Moderna Inc MRNA are on the cusp of obtaining emergency use authorization for their respective vaccine candidates.

The coming days will be crucial, as the company hopes to successfully navigate through the clinical studies while also working on supplies.

Inovio's vaccine has logistical advantages over the rest, as it has a shelf life greater than five years when refrigerated and stability for more than 30 days at 37 degrees Celsius — and more than one year at room temperature.

At last check, Inovio shares were advancing 4.68% to $12.53.

Related Link: Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For December PDUFA Dates

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