Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO) posted second-quarter financial results on Monday. With pipeline drug approval within reach, a new Phase 3 study starting soon, and a strategy bolstered by three drug candidates, H.C. Wainwright analyst Ram Selvaraju reiterates a Buy on shares of INO with a $17 price target, marking a nearly 93% increase from where the stock is currently trading.
Worthy of note, management has discussed the affirmative path provided by both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its pipeline drug VGX-3100 to treat HPV-16/18-related high grade cervical dysplasia in a pivotal Phase 3 registration study. After having both completion of commercial device design for the drug as well as manufacturing process development efforts underway, the drug maker is in prep mode for submitting the final package to the FDA in the upcoming weeks, with full expectation for first dosing to commence by fourth quarter.
Management has also discussed that this Phase 3 trial will likely enroll around 350 patients at 150 sites worldwide, with a similar efficacy endpoint to that in the Phase 2 study. Selvaraju comments, “This is encouraging news, in our view, together with the fact that it has been 1.5 years since 160 patients received their first dosing of VGX-3100 in the Phase 2 study and no significant adverse events have been observed thus far.”
Another positive factor weighing in INO’s corner is the presentation of a new plan called Inovio Vision 2020, set to have three drug candidates ready for registration in 2020. Of course, not at all surprising to the analyst, the first candidate ready will be VGX-3100. The second one will be a cancer-treating candidate, potentially new candidate, INO-5400, a multi-antigen immunotherapy to be used in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.
Meanwhile, Inovio’s PENNVAX®-GP HIV immunotherapy is set to deliver Phase 1 data by 1H 2017. Selvaraju believes, “These data readouts in the coming quarters could drive further upside in the stock, in our view.”
Additionally, Inovio’s total revenue for the quarter was $6.2 million, above Selvaraju’s projection, which the analyst attributes to a surge in development payments from the firm’s DARPA Ebola grant. The company saw a net loss of $18.7 million during the quarter, or ($0.26) per share.
According to TipRanks, Ram Selvaraju is ranked #2,838 out of 4,105 analysts. Selvaraju carries a 43% success rate with a loss of 0.1% in annual returns. When recommending INO, Selvaraju loses 5.2% in profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit INO as a Strong Buy. Based on 4 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 3 rate a Buy on the stock and 1 maintains a Hold. The consensus price target stands at $17.50, marking a 97% upside from where the shares last closed.
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