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Coronavirus / Biotechnology Stock News Bites: INOVIO (NASDAQ: $INO) Reports 2019 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Financial Results


March 13, 2020 ( Newswire) INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) a biotechnology company focused on rapidly bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines to treat, cure, and protect people from diseases associated with HPV, cancer, and infectious diseases, reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2019.

INOVIO Highlights

VGX-3100: Cervical, vulvar, and anal HSIL

REVEAL 2 Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating VGX-3100 for treatment of HPV-related cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) has a total of 43 sites opened globally for recruitment, which includes newly opened sites in Brazil and South Africa, along with four new U.S.-based sites. Top-line efficacy data from REVEAL 1 Phase 3 clinical trial is expected to be reported by the fourth quarter of 2020.

INOVIO is also evaluating VGX-3100 in two Phase 2 trials for the treatment of vulvar HSIL and anal HSIL. Preliminary efficacy and safety data are planned to be presented later this month at The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) 2020 Scientific Meeting on Anogenital & HPV-Related Diseases.

INO-3107: Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP)

In February 2020, INOVIO announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to evaluate INO-3107 in a Phase 1/2 trial for treatment of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). The Phase 1/2 trial is expected to enroll approximately 63 subjects in the United States and will evaluate the efficacy, safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of INO-3107 in subjects with HPV 6 and/or 11-associated RRP who have required at least two surgical interventions per year for the past three years for the removal of associated papilloma(s). As RRP is a rare, orphan disease, INOVIO plans to work with the FDA's Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) in an effort to attain Orphan Disease designation for INO-3107.

INOVIO and its collaborators published data from a pilot, compassionate use clinical trial for the treatment of RRP in the scientific journal Vaccines (MDPI). The article, entitled "Immune Therapy Targeting E6/E7 Oncogenes of Human Papillomavirus Type 6 (HPV-6) Reduces or Eliminates the Need for Surgical Intervention in the Treatment of HPV-6 Associated Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis," detailed the clinical efficacy observed in the pilot study of two patients with RRP.

INO-4800: COVID-19

In January 2020, INOVIO was awarded a grant of up to $9 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This initial CEPI funding is anticipated to support INOVIO's preclinical and clinical development through a Phase 1 clinical trial of INO-4800, INOVIO's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, in the United States.

Subsequent to the grant from CEPI, INOVIO announced a collaboration agreement with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Co. to advance the development of INO-4800 in China. The goal of this collaboration is to leverage Beijing Advaccine's expertise to run a Phase 1 trial in China in parallel with INOVIO's ongoing clinical development efforts in the United States.

In March 2020, INOVIO received a new $5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation anticipated to fund accelerated testing and scale up of INOVIO's CELLECTRA® 3PSP proprietary smart device for the intradermal delivery of INO-4800, in order to support large scale manufacturing of INO-4800 doses by end of 2020.

INO-5401: Newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)

In November 2019, INOVIO reported positive interim data for INO-5401 from its ongoing Phase 2 trial in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2019 Annual Meeting. The Phase 2 trial is evaluating INO-5401, a T cell-activating immunotherapy candidate encoding for three tumor-specific antigens (hTERT, WT1, and PSMA), and INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12, in combination with Libtayo®, a PD-1 blocking antibody produced by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in collaboration with Sanofi.

Key interim data from the 52-patient clinical trial showed that 80% (16 of 20) of MGMT gene promoter methylated patients and 75% (24 of 32) of unmethylated patients were progression-free at six months measured from the time of their first dose, substantially exceeding historical standard-of-care data (approximately 60% of MGMT promoter methylated patients and 40% of unmethylated patients historically were progression-free at six months). INOVIO expects to report 12-month overall survival data in June 2020, followed by 18-month overall survival data in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Dr. J. Joseph Kim, INOVIO's President & CEO, said, "The company remains well-positioned for 2020 to be a transformational year for INOVIO. Following our very encouraging, albeit early, positive data for INO-5401 in our GBM study, we look forward to presenting 12-month overall survival data next quarter. We also continue to expand our capabilities in treating HPV-associated diseases, with IND acceptance from the FDA for a Phase 2 trial evaluating INO-3107 for the rare, orphan disease RRP. We also look forward to sharing interim efficacy and safety data from our Phase 2 study in HPV-associated vulvar HSIL and anal HSIL at ASCCP later this month."

"The evolving situation following the outbreak of COVID-19 has allowed us to further showcase INOVIO's technology capabilities and versatility in fighting emerging infectious diseases. We are very grateful for both the financial and moral support from CEPI to take steps toward tackling this global pandemic. Our DNA medicine platform has been selected among a small group of important vaccine technologies for rapidly impacting emerging infectious diseases outbreaks such as COVID-19, having already advanced INO-4700, our vaccine candidate against MERS-CoV, another coronavirus, to a Phase 1/2a clinical trial. We look forward to sharing more on INO-4800's development along with our broader pipeline initiatives and achievements in the future."

Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Total revenue was $279,000 and $4.1 million for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2019, respectively, compared to $2.5 million and $30.5 million for the same periods in 2018, respectively. Total operating expenses were $30.7 million and $115.2 million for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2019, respectively, compared to $32.0 million and $124.6 million for the same periods in 2018, respectively.

INOVIO's net loss for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2019 was $37.7 million, or $0.38 per basic and diluted share, and $119.4 million, or $1.21 per basic and diluted share, respectively, as compared to $33.0 million, or $0.34 per basic and diluted share, and $97.0 million, or $1.05 per basic and diluted share, for the same periods in 2018, respectively.

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