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Inovio (INO) Q1 Earnings & Revenues Fall Short of Estimates

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INO - Free Report) incurred a loss of 30 cents per share for the first quarter of 2019, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 29 cents but narrower than the year-ago loss of 36 cents.

Inovio generated revenues of $2.8 million in the reported quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.4 million. Revenues soared 86.6% from the year-ago quarter’s figure of $1.5 million owing to the milestone payment received from AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) in the quarter under a collaboration agreement for MEDI0457.

Shares of Inovio slid 1.8% in after-hours trading following the company’s earnings release on Thursday. The stock has dipped 3.2% year to date against the industry’s increase of 3.2%.

Research and development expenses slipped marginally 0.8% to $24.4 million due to absence of a sub-license expense incurred in the year-ago quarter in connection with the ApolloBio collaboration.

General and administrative expenses decreased 27.8% to $7 million in the quarter under review owing to the lower foreign non-income taxes and advisory fees.

Pipeline and Other Updates

VGX-3100, an HPV immunotherapy, is the most advanced candidate in the company’s pipeline.

VGX-3100 is currently being evaluated in a phase III study (REVEAL 1) for the treatment of cervical dysplasia, caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Enrollment in the program is expected to be completed by mid-2019. In March, the company started enrolling patients in the confirmatory REVEAL 2 study. Two more phase II studies are examining the efficacy of VGX-3100 in patients with vulvar dysplasia and anal dysplasia.

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

This April, Inovio completed enrolling patients in the phase I/II analysis of its immuno-oncology combo — INO-5401 plus INO-9012 — in conjunction with Regeneron (REGN - Free Report) / Sanofi’s (SNY - Free Report) PD-1 inhibitor, Libtayo (cemiplimab), for treating the newly-diagnosed patients with glioblastoma (GBM). The company closed the patient enrollment three months ahead of the scheduled time. Inovio plans to report the interim results from the probe before this year-end.

Meanwhile in the same month, Inovio’s novel therapy, INO-3106, demonstrated its clinical efficacy in a pilot study. This evaluation was conducted on a couple of patients with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), a human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated disease.

Earlier in February, Inovio announced initiation of the first-ever human study of INO-A002, a DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody (dMAb), as a prevention treatment for Zika virus. Notably, in March this year, Inovio announced that its Ebola vaccine candidate, INO-4201, demonstrated 100% immunogenicity in a phase I clinical study.

Also, during last month, Inovio received an undisclosed milestone fee from AstraZeneca as the latter dosed the first patient in a phase II study on their T cell-activating immunotherapy, MEDI0457. The investigation will evaluate MEDI0457 in combination with AstraZeneca’s anti PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, Imfinzi (durvalumab), for treating human papilloma virus (HPV) related anal, penile and vulvar cancers. This was a third milestone that Inovio earned from AstraZeneca.

Previously, Inovio received a couple of milestone fees after the initiation of dosing with the same combination for the treatment of HPV-caused cervical plus head and neck cancers.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Zacks Rank

Inovio currently 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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