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Inovio (INO) Misses on Q4 Earnings & Revenues, Shares Down


Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. INO incurred a loss of 34 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2018, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 30 cents and the year-ago loss of 24 cents.

Inovio generated revenues of $2.5 million in fourth-quarter 2018, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.69 million. Revenues decreased 71.6% from the year-ago quarter’s figure of $8.8 million due to significantly lower collaboration payments and grants compared to the year-ago period.

Inovio’s shares fell 4.8% in after-market trading on Mar 12, following the dismal quarterly results. Shares of Inovio have declined 11% year to date against the industry’s increase of 11.9%.

Research and development expenses increased 7.3% to $26.4 million due to higher expenses related to clinical studies, partially offset by lower expenses related to the DARPA Ebola grant.

General and administrative expenses decreased 30% to $5.6 million in the fourth quarter.

Full-Year Results

Inovio reported total revenues of $30.5 million in 2018, down 27.7% year over year. The company earned $15.4 million from AstraZeneca AZN under a collaboration agreement, $8.8 million in DARPA Ebola grant and received an agreement termination payment of $6.1 million from Roche RHHBY in 2017. The year-over-year decline in revenues was partially offset by an upfront payment of $23 million from China-based ApolloBio related to amendment of an agreement for VGX-3100 rights and an increase in grant funding from the CEPI grant of $4.3 million.

For the full year, the company incurred a loss of $1.05 per share, 3.7% narrower than the year-ago period due to lower operating expenses.

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 soon and has initiated enrollment in the confirmatory REVEAL II study. The company plans to submit a biologics license application (“BLA”) in 2021. Two more phase II studies are examining the efficacy of VGX-3100 on patients with vulvar dysplasia and anal dysplasia.

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

The company is evaluating immuno-oncology combo, INO-5401 plus INO-9012, in two phase I/II studies. One study is evaluating thecombo in combination with Regeneron’s REGN cemiplimab on patients with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma while the other is in combination with Roche’s Tecentriq as a treatment for advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. Interim data from both the studies are expected this year.

Inovio expects data in 2019 from a phase I/IIa study, evaluating its Middle East respiratory syndrome ("MERS") vaccine, INO-4700, to prevent infection from the deadly virus. The company expects to begin a phase II program on MERS vaccine in the Middle East during the second half of 2019.

In February 2019, Inovio announced initiation of first-ever human study of INO-A002, a DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody (dMAb), as a prevention treatment for Zika virus.

MEDI0457 (a combination of VGX-3100 and its DNA-based IL-12 cytokine), out-licensed to AstraZeneca, is currently being evaluated in a phase II study combined with the AstraZeneca’s PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, Imfinzi, for the treatment of HPV-caused cervical, head and neck cancers. The company announced that complete response was achieved in two patients or was 50%.

In December 2018, Inovio had announced the initiation of a phase II study to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of MEDI0457 in combination with Imfinzi (durvalumab) in several cancer indications associated with HPV.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank

Inovio currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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