<p>Coronavirus from China is spreading and at a faster rate. As it does, investors’ fears also seem to increase. Its outbreaks in Italy and South Korea could give biotechnology stocks a lift. Specifically, Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO) may continue to attract buyers in the coming weeks.
The INO share started an upward trend in November 2019 ahead of the news that it is working on a vaccine for Covid-19. Although Inovio is not the only pharmaceutical company in this area, speculators should continue to hold a position in the INO share to hedge against the falling market.
On January 30, Inovio announced a partnership with Beijing Advaccine to advance the INO-4800. The $ 9 million grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will fund Phase 1 human testing in the United States
The purpose of the clinical study is to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the drug – its ability to elicit an immune response. If the vaccine is safe and the subjects respond positively, Inovio Pharmaceuticals will be in a better position.
Inovio said in its press release that it is developing treatments for Covid-19 because its effort “is based on the ideal suitability of its DNA drug platform to rapidly develop vaccines against new viruses with pandemic potential, proven vaccine development capability and a strong track record to quickly generate promising countermeasures against previous pandemic threats. “
The company has the experience needed in this space because it is the only company that delivers DNA medicine to cells. This is done via its own smart device.
The device can also deliver treatment for human papillomavirus (HPV 16 and HPV 18). Its most advanced clinical program is the VGX-3100. In phase 3 development, the product treats HPV-related cervical cancer. Inovio’s Phase 2 immuno-oncology program targets glioblastoma and other HPV-related cancers. The company completed registration for a VGX-3100 study in July 2019. This study examines the treatment of HPV-related vulvar dysplasia (VIN).
More recently, on February 10, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company to start trials for INO-3107. This is a DNA drug for the treatment of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). RRP is caused by an HPV infection that leads to non-cancerous tumor growth. It is life threatening as it can develop into cancer and can also cause airway obstruction. Currently, they need RRP surgery to clear the airways but they may need several surgeries each year.
INO-3107 is not the company’s first attempt to address RRP. In its recent study of INO-3106, it found that its treatment generated an immune response. Inovio said that two patients could delay the operation as a result of the program. A delayed operation by 584 days and one by 915 days.
Valuation and my takeaway at INO warehouse
According to TipRanks, analysts have a price target of $ 9.43 on INO shares. According to Stock Rover, the stock has low total points. Despite a momentum point of 91, the company has unfavorable financial strength. Its growth, value and efficiency versus its peers are also unfavorable. Stock Rover also has 12 stock warnings.
For example, 10.8% of the float is sold short. So bears are betting on the latest rally in the INO share.
Inovio does not make money on earnings per share. It is still in the clinical exploratory phase of drug development. Money can become a problem if these clinical trials advance and the costs of supporting them increase.
Those who want to invest in a coronavirus vaccine provider should look into Inovio in the coming months.
Chris Lau is a contributing author to InvestorPlace.com and many other financial websites. Chris has over 20 years of investment experience in the stock market and runs the Do-It-Yourself Value Investing Marketplace at Seeking Alpha. He shares his stock choices so that readers get original insights that help improve return on investment. At the time of writing, Chris had no position in any of the above securities.