Hardly a day goes by without a COVID-19-related biotech making further market leaps and bounds. Investors have reacted with unbridled enthusiasm to the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment, with several names racking up triple-digit year-to-date gains. Among these companies is vaccine maker Inovio (INO). Since the turn of the year, Inovio stock has recorded a truly impressive 314% increase.
Many believe that Inovio’s potential is based on its COVID-19 DNA vaccine, INO-4800, currently in a Phase 1 trial with interim data expected in June. Yet, Maxim analyst Jason McCarthy points out that INO-4800 is not the only reason to be bullish on the company.
The 5-star analyst counts Phase 2 interim overall survival data from the glioblastoma study INO-5401, and expected 4Q topline data from the VGX-3100 Phase 3 trial (REVEAL 1) for the treatment of HPV-related cervical pre-cancer, as additional 2020 catalysts, amongst others, while imploring investors to keep an eye out for data from another coronavirus studies.
The 5-star analyst said, “Clearly, much investor focus is on INO-4800 and the opportunity in COVID-19. We would also point out that INO-4700, the DNA vaccine for another coronavirus (MERS, Middle Easter Respiratory Syndrome) will be presented at the ASGCT (American Society for Gene & Cell Therapy) this week, 5/12-5/15. Recall this program already reported positive data and in the COVID-19 vaccine race puts Inovio at a distinct advantage, in our view, that both Moderna and BioNTech do not have.”
McCarthy, accordingly, reiterated his Buy recommendation on Inovio shares, while further boosting the price target – from $12 to $18. Expect upside of 38%, should the target be met over the coming months. (To watch McCarthy’s track record, click here)
Looking at the consensus breakdown, 4 Buys and 3 Holds add up to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. With an average price target of $14.14, the Street projects a modest upside of 4%. (See Inovio stock analysis on TipRanks)