Inovio Jumps on Progress of Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate

The Phase 2 trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of its treatment candidate when compared to a placebo.
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Shares of drug maker Inovio  (INO) - Get Report jumped Monday after the company announced that it has started a mid-stage study of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate after receiving regulator approval. 

The Phase 2 trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of its treatment candidate when compared to a placebo. 

Inovio says that the Phase 3 portion of the trial will remain on hold until the Food and Drug Administration's "remaining questions" concerning the device that will be used to deliver the vaccine directly into the skin are resolved. 

The trial, which Inovio has dubbed INNOVATE, will be funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense. 

In June, the U.S. DoD granted Inovio $71 million to scale up production of the Cellectra delivery device that the FDA is currently scrutinizing. 

Inovio shares jumped 6% to $11.90 Monday morning. 

Meanwhile, stocks were rising Monday after rival Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report said that its coronavirus vaccine candidate has an efficacy rate of 94.5%. 

Moderna said it could have 20 million doses available for the U.S. market this year, as well as a total supply of between 500 million and 1 billion doses worldwide next year.

Moderna reported that its vaccine had a 94.5% efficacy rate, topping the 90% threshold reported by Pfizer, the New York health-care giant, last week for its vaccine.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna also said that its product can last as long as six months when stored at standard freezer temperatures of minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with the minus-94 degree temperature required for the Pfizer vaccine.