Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INO - Free Report) reported a loss of 36 cents in the first quarter of 2018, wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 27 cents and the year-ago loss of 31 cents.
Inovio reported revenues of $1.5 million in the first quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8 million. Revenues declined in the quarter owing to some accounting adjustments and decrease in grant funding recognized from our Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Ebola grant. Also, in the year-ago quarter, a termination payment rom Roche was recognized as revenue which was missing in the first quarter of 2018.
Shares of Inovio were down 7.8% after the earnings release. Year to date, shares of the company have outperformed the industry. It has gained 5.3% against the industry’s decline of 11.3% during the period.
Research and development expenses inched up 0.4% to $24.6 million, owing to the ongoing studies for its most advanced pipeline candidate VGX-3100 and activities under the company’s collaboration with AstraZeneca’s (AZN - Free Report) subsidiary, MedImmune and an increase in employee headcount to support clinical study activities and partnerships.
General and administrative expenses rose 24.4% to $9.7 million, primarily due Chinese taxes and advisory fees incurred in connection with the upfront payment received from ApolloBio in Jan 2018.
In January, Inovio entered into a license and collaboration agreement, providing ApolloBio Corporation with exclusive rights to develop and commercialize VGX-3100 and HPV within Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan).
Pipeline and Other Update
VGX-3100, an HPV immunotherapyis currently being evaluated in a phase III study for the treatment of cervical dysplasia, caused by human papillomavirus (“HPV”). The company is also conducting a phase II study to examine the efficacy of VGX-3100 for HPVrelated vulvar neoplasia.
In mid-2017, the company started an independent phase I trial on DNA immunotherapy, INO-1800, against hepatitis B virus, after Roche (RHHBY - Free Report) backed out from its collaboration agreement in July 2016. During the first-quarter conference call, the company announced that it plans to report additional data from this study at upcoming scientific conferences and in a publication in 2018.
The company will be 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 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in participants with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic/recurrent urothelial carcinoma (UCa).
The company is also opening sites for phase I/II study to evaluate safety, immunogenicity and preliminary efficacy of INO-5401 and INO-9012 in combination with Regeneron’s (REGN - Free Report) cemiplimab in participants with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma.
Inovio 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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