Why Are Inovio Shares Plummeting Today

  • Joseph Kim, the longtime CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc INO, is stepping down to make room for Jacqueline Shea, who first joined Inovio as COO in 2019.
  • Shea will be overseeing a change in direction as Inovio, a laggard in the COVID-19 vaccine race, has closed a Phase 3 trial in favor of a booster strategy.
  • "We look forward to Dr. Shea taking the helm during a particularly challenging period in INOVIO's history," board chairman Simon X. Benito said.
  • Inovio said it will now focus on testing INO-4800 as a booster to other vaccines (making it a "heterologous" booster) rather than a primary series vaccine option.
  • Related: Lab Study Shows Inovio's COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Weaker Against Omicron Variant.
  • Meanwhile, Inovio revealed it's also changing directions with VGX-3100 for HPV-16/18-associated cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. 
  • The FDA advised the company to conduct another trial to confirm its hypothesis that the immunotherapy works for a biomarker-selected subgroup.
  • Given an additional trial, Inovia no longer expects to submit a marketing application in 2023 for VGX-3100.
  • Price Action: INO shares are down 31.7% at $1.70 during the market session on the last check Wednesday.
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