Afterwards, I said that INO stock could rise to $30, which never happened.
Instead, the stock flopped, and I weighed in again, warning investors to avoid the shares.
Recently, Inovio reported a higher-than-expected quarterly loss of 83 cents, and there have been more questions than answers about its INO-4800 vaccine. Things got even worse for INO stock after the FDA halted the company’s clinical trials due to the agency’s questions about its vaccine technology.
But I believe that Inovio is a “blood-in-the-street” opportunity that’s facing a temporary hurdle. From its current price of $11.63, I believe that it could refill its gap at $16.96 in the near-term.
The FDA’s Halt Is Only Temporary
Before the halt, Inovio Pharmaceuticals had said that it intended to move its vaccine candidate into Phase 2/3 trials this month. Now that may not happen until early November, although the trials could start in late October.
Inovio intends to address the FDA’s questions later this month. The agency will then have 30 days to notify the company whether it can proceed.
While the company didn’t report what the FDA’s questions were, it did say “they included the delivery device used in administering the shot,” The Wall Street Journal’s Jared S. Hopkins reported.
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Plus, according to an Inovio press release:
“This partial clinical hold is not due to the occurrence of any adverse events related to INOVIO’s ongoing expanded Phase 1 study of INO-4800, the conduct of which may continue and is not impacted by the FDA’s notification.”
Also, Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy just upgraded INO stock to “buy” from “hold.” He believes that the FDA’s halt will be short-lived.
There Are 100 Million Reasons to Like INO Stock
Thermo Fisher (NYSE:TMO) will manufacture 100 million doses of Inovio’s INO-4800 vaccine annually.
“At peak capacity, Thermo Fisher projects that it could produce at least 100 million doses of INO-4800 annually,” according to a recent press release. “Thermo Fisher Scientific will join existing partners Richter-Helm BioLogics and Ology Biosciences in INOVIO’s global manufacturing consortium. INOVIO is in active discussions with additional manufacturers to join the consortium as INOVIO seeks to complement its existing members with additional manufacturing partnerships to meet global needs.”
It makes sense for Inovio to utilize multiple manufacturers. That way, the potential vaccine can be administered to the public much more quickly.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Isn’t a One-Trick Pony
Inovio’s VGX-3100 drug for cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) is in Phase 3 trials. Its GLS-6150 treatment for Hepatitis-C is in Phase 1 trials. Its PENNVAX-GP drug for HIV-1 is in Phase 1/2 trials. And its INO-5151 drug for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer is now in Phase 1/2 trials.
In short, Inovio Pharmaceutical is not a one-trick pony.
The Bottom Line on INO Stock
The FDA’s halt is a temporary issue. It had nothing to do with any adverse events among those participating in Inovio’s trials. Once the company answers the FDA’s questions and gets the green light to move forward, its vaccine candidate should progress well.
Again, I now believe that INO stock is a “blood in the street” opportunity that’s facing a temporary hurdle.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Ian Cooper, an InvestorPlace.com contributor, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999. As of this writing, Ian Cooper did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.