Why PPD, Immunic, Inovio and CureVac Shares Are Higher Today

PPD, Inc. PPD, Immunic, Inc. IMUX, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. INO and CureVac N.V. CVAC are among the healthcare movers on Thursday.

PPD Soars On M&A News: PPD, a contract research organization providing integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services, announced a deal to be acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO for $47.50 per share in cash, or $17.4 billion, plus the assumption of $3.5 billion of debt.

PPD stock spiked in late trading Wednesday after a Wall Street Journal report broke out speculation regarding a potential sale After trading flat around $38 for much of the session, the stock took off, with about 15 minutes into the close, and ended 12.10% higher at $43.

Related Link: The Daily Biotech Pulse: Merck Shelves 2 COVID-19 Studies, Bristol-Myers Squibb Gets European Regulatory Nod, InspireMD's Reverse Split

Immunic Gains On Clinical Readout For Multiple Sclerosis Drug: Immunic, a clinical-stage biopharma focusing on developing oral therapies for treating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, announced interim data from the Cohort 2 of the Phase 2 study of IMU-838, an investigational asset, in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Patients in the cohort were given 10mg IMU-838 dose and placebo. Preplanned interim analysis of 12-week MRI data, along with the previously reported data from the Cohort 1 that was administered 30mg and 45mg doses, support decision that 30mg once daily dose will be used for planned Phase 3 study.

The company said it plans to submit an investigational new drug application, rather than holding an end-of-Phase 2 meeting, that would facilitate commencement of the Phase 3 study in the second half of 2021.

Inovio Spikes On COVID-19 Vaccine Data: Inovio, a developer of DNA medicines for infectious diseases, announced positive results from a study focusing on the human immune responses induced by its investigational COVID-19 DNA vaccine candidate INO-4800 against variants of the virus.

The results showed that INO-4800 induced a robust T-cell response against all spike protein variants tested. This, according to the company, will be key in providing protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants such as those found in the U.K. and Brazil.

Inovio also confirmed it will report results form the Phase 2 study of INO-4800 in the second quarter, and with the concurrence of the FDA, it also expects to commence a Phase 3 study in the same quarter

CureVac Says COVID-19 Vaccine Program On Track: Germany's CureVac, which is developing a mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus, announced financial results for the fourth quarter and also provided a clinical pipeline update.

The company said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, is in final stage of clinical development and it is well on track to provide data for conditional approval based on EMA rolling submission.

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