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Inovio (INO) Q2 Loss Narrows, Revenues Surpass Estimates

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INO - Free Report) incurred a loss of 8 cents in the second quarter of 2018, narrower than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 35 cents and the year-ago loss of 13 cents.

Inovio generated revenues of $24.4 million in the second quarter, comprehensively beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.1 million. This upside was owing to an up-front payment of $23 million received from ApolloBio Corp. However, this increase was partially offset by $12.8 million due to some accounting adjustments and a decrease in grant funding recognized from its DARPA Ebola grant.

Shares of Inovio inched up 1.5% following its earnings release. Year to date, the stock has outperformed the industry with a loss of 2.7%, narrower than the industry’s decline of 4.8%.

Research and development expenses improved 5.8% to $22.5 million owing to accounting adjustment mentioned above and lower expenses related to the DARPA Ebola grant.

General and administrative expenses rose 16.1% to $7.2 million in the reported quarter.

Pipeline and Other Updates

VGX-3100, an HPV immunotherapy is currently being evaluated in a phase III study for the treatment of cervical dysplasia, caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). VGX-3100 is the most advanced candidate in the company’s pipeline.

Inovio is conducting a pivotal phase III REVEAL program to evaluate the safety and efficacy of VGX-3100 for treating cervical dysplasia caused by HPV. Another phase II study is examining the efficacy of VGX-3100 on women with HPV-related vulvar neoplasia.

During the quarter under review, Inovio initiated a phase II trial to evaluate the efficacy of VGX-3100 on adult men and women with HPV-related anal dysplasia. This will be the third indication that VGX-3100 is being evaluated for. Earlier this week, Inovio announced that it has inked a partnership deal with AIDS Malignancy Consortium to fund VGX-3100’s phase II study for high-grade anal dysplasia in HIV-positive adult patients.

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

INO-4700 is being co-developed by Inovio and GeneOne Life Science Inc for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). In collaboration with GeneOne Life Science, Inovio plans to begin a phase I/II analysis during the third quarter of 2018.

In June, Inovio began a phase I/II trial to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and preliminary efficacy of INO-5401 combined with Regeneron’s (REGN - Free Report) cemiplimab on participants with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma. Inovio announced that it has dosed the first patient enrolled in its study.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

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

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Inovio currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Two better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector are Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD - Free Report) and Illumina, Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Gilead Sciences’ earnings estimates have been moved 7.7% north for 2018 and 2.2% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has gained 9.4% year to date.

Illumina’s earnings estimates have been revised 10.9% upward for 2018 and 8% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has soared 54.3% so far this year.

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