Analyst Ram Selvaraju, with H.C. Wainwright & Co., noted in a Sept. 22 research report that Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO:NASDAQ) announced publication in medical journals of two of its preclinical studies involving its plasmid DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody (dMAb) products. He reported that Inovio's dMAb technology demonstrated "potential use in treating cancers and bacterial infections in addition to viral infections."
The trial of Inovio's dMAb therapeutic against prostate-specific membrane antigen, the results of which were published in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, showed "the construct produced monoclonal antibodies that controlled growth of human prostate cancer cells in transgenic mice and prolonged survival," Selvaraju reported.
The analyst reiterated that Inovio's anti-cancer dMAb products work by "binding the antigens on the cancer cells and killing them by an antibody-dependent cytotoxicity mechanism in conjunction with natural killer cells."
The second trial, published in Nature Communications, was of the biotech's dMAb immunotherapy that encodes two pseudomonas antigens. It revealed that "the construct had indistinguishable potency compared to bioprocessed immunoglobulin G and protected against lethal pneumonia in mice," wrote Selvaraju. "Prior publications demonstrated utility of dMAb constructs in treating viral infections, such as the publication on influenza infections that appeared in July 2017."
Inovio's therapeutics that target antibiotic-resistant bacteria "are designed to generate bispecific monoclonal antibodies, which could simultaneously bind two different antigens," he reminded readers.
In response to the findings outlined in the articles, Selvaraju concluded, "These two new publications further validate the dMAb technology platform and expand its potential use in treating a variety of cancers and bacterial infections." Additionally, he wrote, "These novel mechanisms could provide multiple shots on goal and warrant potential future use of dMAb products in combination with other therapeutics."
An advantage to Inovio's technology, Selvaraju indicated, is it "enables patients' own cells to become the factory that manufactures the therapeutic monoclonal antibody products, and overcomes the limitations of conventional monoclonal antibodies that are manufactured outside the body in bioreactors in terms of cost effectiveness and product stability."
Further, the development time frame for Inovio's dMAb products "might be shortened as the platform allows the company to bypass difficulties faced by traditional protein-based mAb technology," explained Selvaraju.
The first dMAb therapeutic Inovio will advance to human trials is for Ebola viral infections, the analyst reported. That's scheduled to occur in 2018.
H.C. Wainwright has a rating of Buy and a price target of $13 per share on Inovio, which is currently trading at around $6.29 per share.
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1) Doresa Banning compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise reports as an independent contractor. She or members of her household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. She or members of her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., Company Update, Sept. 22, 2017
I, Raghuram Selvaraju, Ph.D. and Yi Chen, Ph.D. CFA, certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst’s household has a financial interest in the securities of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of August 31, 2017, neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did receive compensation from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, and will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. as of the date of this research report.