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Inovio (INO) Q3 Loss Narrower Than Expected, Revenues Meet


Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. INO incurred a loss of 27 cents in the third quarter of 2018, narrower than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 32 cents and the year-ago loss of 40 cents.

Inovio generated revenues of $2 million in third-quarter 2018, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, revenues decreased 23% from the year-ago quarter’s figure of $2.6 million due to some accounting adjustments

Shares of Inovio have rallied 25.7% year to date against the industry’s decline of 14%.

Research and development expenses decreased 14.1% to $21.9 million due to accounting adjustment and lower expenses related to the DARPA Ebola grant.

General and administrative expenses increased 7.9% to $6.8 million in the third quarter.

Pipeline and Other Updates

VGX-3100, an HPV immunotherapy, is the most advanced candidate in the company’s pipeline.

VGX-3100 is currently being evaluated in a phase III study (REVEAL 1) for the treatment of cervical dysplasia, caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The company expects to complete enrollment in REVEAL 1 study by early 2019 and initiate the REVEAL II study thereafter. Another phase II study is examining the efficacy of VGX-3100 on women with vulvar dysplasia and anal dysplasia.

In August 2018, Inovio announced a partnership with the AIDS Malignancy Consortium to evaluate VGX-3100 for treating HPV-associated precancerous conditions in patients, who have tested positive for HIV.

Inovio out-licensed MEDI0457 to MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca plc AZN. MEDI0457 (a combination of VGX-3100 and its DNA-based IL-12 cytokine) is currently being evaluated in phase II study combined with the AstraZeneca’s PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, Imfinzi, for the treatment of HPV-caused cervical, head and neck cancers.

MedImmune expects to begin another phase II study during the fourth quarter of 2018 to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of MEDI0457 in combination with Imfinzi on patients with recurrent/metastatic associated cancers other than head and neck cancer.

Apart from VGX-3100, Inovio has several candidates in its pipeline under early-to-mid-stage development.

In September 2018, Inovio dosed the first patient in a phase I/IIa study, evaluating its Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) vaccine, INO-4700, to prevent infection from the deadly virus. Depending on results from this study, Inovio expects to begin a phase II program on MERS vaccine in the Middle East during 2019.

In August, Inovio dosed its first patient in a phase I/II study, evaluating its HIV vaccine Pennvax-GP’s ability to result in remission of HIV. The vaccine targets all major HIV strains with potential capacity to improve the human immune system and control HIV without antiretroviral therapy.

In October, Inovio announced that Pennvax-GP demonstrated a durable and robust antibody plus T cell immune responses in a phase I clinical study. The vaccine was administered to patients through the intradermal route. The company expects to present interim data in 2019.

Last month, Inovio announced new data from phase Ib study on INO-5150, currently being evaluated for the treatment of prostate cancer in men. The data showed that 86% of patients remained progression-free at week 72 of the program. It also decelerated Prostate-Specific Antigen Doubling Time (PSADT) in male patients suffering prostate cancer.

Inovio is opening sites for phase I/IIa study to evaluate the immunogenicity and preliminary clinical efficacy of INO-5401 and INO-9012 in combination with Roche’s RHHBY Tecentriq on participants with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic/recurrent urothelial carcinoma (UCa).

The company is also opening sites for phase I/II study to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and preliminary efficacy of INO-5401 and INO-9012 in combination with Regeneron’s REGN cemiplimab on subjects with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma. Inovio is on track to report data from both studies next year.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Zacks Rank

Inovio currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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