Stifel cuts COVID-19 vaccine developer Inovio's price target as earnings and call leave more questions than answers - (MarketWatch via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Stifel analysts cut their price target for Inovio Pharmaceuticals from $24 to $16 on Tuesday, after the company posted a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and revenue that fell short of estimates, reported MarketWatch.

  • The numbers and the call "left us (again) with more questions than answers on numerous fronts," said analysts led by Stephen Willey, including regarding the disclosure of timelines for a trial of Inovio's COVID-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800.

  • The company said it expanded a 40-patient early-stage clinical trial by another 80 participants and that most patients were showing an immunological response to the vaccine, either by achieving binding antibodies, neutralizing antibodies or T cell responses.

  • "Our hesitancy to attribute any INO-4800-related value in our model persists and our previously reduced discount rate (9%) reflected improved perception [regarding] the likelihood of procuring third-party funding," the analyst note said.

  • "We believe these lingering questions, coupled with an acceleration of the competitive development landscape (and difficult-to-beat immunogenicity hurdles), forces us to revisit that assumption," the analysts added.

  • The company reported a second-quarter loss of $128.7 million, compared with a loss of $29.4 million in the year-ago period, while sales rose to about $267,000 from about $136,000. Analysts had forecast revenue of $2.6 million.

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