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Inovio Continues To Rip Higher On Gates Foundation Funding For DNA Vaccine Delivery Device

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO), one of the hottest COVID-19 plays, is in its elements Thursday, as shares are swinging wildly for the second consecut

Benzinga · 03/12/2020 12:58

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO), one of the hottest COVID-19 plays, is in its elements Thursday, as shares are swinging wildly for the second consecutive session.

The recent catalyst is an update from the company regarding a new $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the testing and scale up of Cellectra 3PSP proprietary smart device for intradermal delivery of INO-4800.

INO-4800 is company's DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus - 2019-CoV-2. The company said it plans to test and scale up the Cellectra 3PSP devices to support large scale manufacturing of INO-4800 by the end of 2020.

See Also: How Close Are Biotechs To Bringing A COVID-19 Treatment To Market?

Vaccine Development Updates

In late January, the company announced it's planning Phase 1 clinical testing of its INO-4800. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, promised a funding of up to $9 million to assist in developmental efforts. Subsequently, Inovio announced a partnership with Beijing Advaccine Biotech to advance the development of the vaccine in China.

On March 3, the company made public an accelerated timeline for developing INO-4800, which suggested commencement of clinical study in April and production of about 1 million doses of the vaccine by end of 2020.

Volatile Shares

From under $4 ahead of its first update on COVID-19 vaccine development, shares rallied to a high of $16 by March 6. The stock succumbed to a two-session sell-off, sympathizing with the broader market retreat before recovering Wednesday.

Inovio is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter results after the market close, with analysts estimating a loss of 24 cents per share on revenues of $2.32 million.

After advancing 46.84% to $8.37 Wednesday, Inovio shares were adding 20.79% to $10.11 in pre-market trading Thursday.