GeneOne Life Science Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the first-in-human clinical study of its collaborative vaccine for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). GeneOne Life Science and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO) are co-developing the vaccine and plan to initiate the first human trial of a MERS vaccine before the end of the year in partnership with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR).

Earlier this month, GeneOne Life Science signed a joint clinical development agreement with WRAIR to advance the MERS vaccine. As part of this agreement, the relevant MERS vaccine clinical trial will be conducted at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is caused by a coronavirus that is related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus that over 10 years ago infected more than 8,000 people, with a 10% death rate. There is no vaccine or effective treatment against MERS, which spreads from human to human. Since 2012, MERS has infected over 1,500 people and killed almost 600 (40%). Recently, the largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia of this emergent global health concern infected 186 people with 36 fatalities in South Korea.

Mr. Young K. Park, CEO, GeneOne Life Science, said, “We are moving rapidly with our partners to bring a MERS vaccine to medicine because there is no vaccine or treatment for this virulent virus that has triggered widespread outbreaks and deaths in the Middle East and more recently Korea. (Original Source)

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals are trading at $6.87, up $0.14 or 2.08%. INO has a 1-year high of $10.83 and a 1-year low of $5.32. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $6.41 and its 200-day moving average is $7.40.

On the ratings front, Inovio has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 9, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Thomas Shrader maintained a Buy rating on INO, with a price target of $19, which represents a potential upside of 182.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 22, Maxim Group’s Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $23.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Thomas Shrader and Jason McCarthy have a total average return of 10.0% and -1.1% respectively. Shrader has a success rate of 56.5% and is ranked #986 out of 3855 analysts, while McCarthy has a success rate of 40.0% and is ranked #2807.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company develops active DNA immunotherapies and vaccines in combination with proprietary electroporation delivery devices to prevent and treat cancers and infectious diseases.