Shares in Inovio Pharmaceuticals fell nearly 23% on Friday after RBC analyst Gregory Renza downgraded the company, which is developing a potential vaccine to treat COVID-19, to sector perform from outperform, reported MarketWatch.
"In our view COVID-19 vaccine attention has helped to reach levels that reflect fair value, and more than accounts for the potential that resides in their late HPV (human papillomavirus)-driven programs, which we see as the key value driving assets in Inovio's portfolio," Renza said.
The analyst added he is taking a cautious view on Inovio's ability to fully capture any opportunity with its COVID-19 vaccine, called INO-4800.
According to Renza, "the unpredictability of monetizing a vaccine as well as the inherent work that Inovio faces in getting a vaccine over the goal line (irrespective of fast tracking) still persists."
He suggested that program development, proving out the viability and profile of INO-4800 clinically, being able to deploy vaccine and device in a scalable way, "all together remain a tall order."
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