Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO) announced it has been selected to receive a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Army’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to further advance the development of Inovio’s next generation delivery device capable of simultaneously administering multiple vaccines via a skin-surface, needle-free electroporation delivery.

The primary goal of this U.S. Army -funded effort is to further develop a device that would facilitate rapid vaccination of U.S. troops stationed around the world against multiple infectious diseases and protect civilian populations from pandemic threats. The new needle-free device could be used to deliver Inovio’s portfolio of biodefense and commercial infectious disease vaccines including those for MERS, Ebola, HIV, influenza, and RSV. Today’s grant is a follow-on to previous grants from the US Department of Defense . Initial testing of a prototype design has already yielded excellent antigen expression and immunogenicity from the dermal tissue being accessed using this novel non-invasive electroporation delivery concept.

Dr. J. Joseph Kim , Inovio President and CEO, said, “Inovio has already accomplished building its CELLECTRA® 5PSP as a portable fully-automatic device for VGX-3100 and other cancer immunotherapies – this is the device that would take us into commercialization. It is our further goal to advance and commercialize a needle and pain-free electroporation device to be used particularly for prophylactic vaccination. This new grant will move us closer to achieving this goal and enable us to target several important commercial infectious disease opportunities that will be well served by non-invasive vaccination.” (Original Source)

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals last Friday at $5.21. INO has a 1-year high of $10.83 and a 1-year low of $4.79. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $6.49 and its 200-day moving average is $6.84.

On the ratings front, Inovio has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 5, Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating on INO, with a price target of $14, which represents a potential upside of 168.7% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on November 9, Stifel Nicolaus’ Thomas Shrader maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $19.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason McCarthy and Thomas Shrader have a total average return of -27.1% and -19.3% respectively. McCarthy has a success rate of 6.4% and is ranked #3534 out of 3582 analysts, while Shrader has a success rate of 17.2% and is ranked #3413.

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.