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Inovio Pharma: What's The Buzz?

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO), one of the key players in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, has revealed promising data from a preclinical study of INO-4800, its DNA vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications titled, "Immunogenicity of a DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19" by INOVIO scientists and collaborators from The Wistar Institute, the University of Texas, Public Health England, Fudan University, and Advaccine.

According to preclinical data, vaccination with INO-4800 generated robust binding and neutralizing antibody as well as T cell responses in mice and guinea pigs. The antibodies detected in the lungs of the vaccinated animals could be important in providing protection from SARS-CoV-2 while the high levels of Spike-specific T cell responses observed with INO-4800 vaccination could be important in mediating protection from the virus infection, noted the study authors.

A phase I clinical trial evaluating the safety profile and immunogenicity of INO-4800 is underway in the U.S. Preliminary safety and immune response data from the phase I trial are expected in June.

Assuming all goes well, the Company plans to start a phase II/III efficacy trial in July/August.

Inovio has a manufacturing partnership with the German contract manufacturer Richter-Helm BioLogics GmbH & Co. KG, to support large-scale manufacturing of INO-4800.

About one million doses of INO-4800 are anticipated to be produced by the end of 2020. The additional capacity provided by Richter-Helm is expected to significantly expand the manufacturing of this DNA vaccine candidate to meet urgent needs in the midst of the pandemic.

The manufacturing partnership agreement is being partly funded by an initial grant of $1.3 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The total funds received from CEPI to date for the development of INO-4800 is $17.2 million.

Earlier in the week, Moderna Inc. (MRNA) announced positive interim clinical data from a phase I study of mRNA-1273, its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.

We have been regularly alerting readers to INO since January of this year.

Related reading

Jan.27, 2020: Inovio Pharma (INO) Has Started The Year Off Right, More To Come?

Mar.3, 2020: Stock Alert: Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO)

Mar.12, 2020: Stocks That Have Doubled And Tripled In Value Due To The Coronavirus

Apr.23, 2020: Stock Alert: Inovio Pharmaceuticals Climbs 11%

Apr.29, 2020: Stock Alert: Inovio Stock Up 8% In Late Trade On Interim MERS-CoV Vaccine Data

INO has traded in a range of $1.92 to $19.36 in the last 1 year. The stock closed Tuesday's trading at $14.56, up 2.75%.

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