Maxim Remains Neutral on Inovio Pharma (INO) Amid INO-4212 Phase 1 Expansion; Focus is VGX-3100
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Maxim affirms Inovio Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: INO) at Hold following news of an expansion to its INO-4212 Ebola vaccine phase 1.
Analyst Jason McCarthy noted the following on Thursday:
- Regulatory pathway. Given the lethality of the Ebola virus, the path forward likely will be via the two-animal rule. Meaning, studies of Ebolainfected primates could be used to demonstrate efficacy while safety and immunogenicity can be validated in healthy subjects. After phase I, much larger human safety studies will be required, as we have seen with J&J and partner Bavarian Nordic (BAVA - $36.93 - Buy), currently in multiple studies for their combo vaccine, including a N=1,300 phase II study.
- Conclusion. While Inovio's infectious disease vaccines continue to make progress in Ebola, Zika and MERS, which we see as incremental positives, our focus remains on VGX-3100 and the start of the pivotal program, hopefully by YE16.
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