Inovio's stock price fell 6.33% to $12.87 even after the biopharma announced a $1.3 million grant from the Oslo-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI.
The grant, which brings CEPI's support of Inovia and its Covid-19 research to $17.2 million, will be used by the company to expand manufacturing of its proposed coronavirus vaccine at its New Plymouth, Pa.-based plant.
Inovio's DNA-based Covid-19 vaccine, INO-4800, is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing, with the biopharma hoping to shift into Phase 2/3 efficacy trials over the summer.
With the help of German contract manufacturer Richter-Helm BioLogics, Inovio plans to produce a million doses of INO-4800 by the end of 2020, the company said in a press statement.
Inovio has a pre-existing relationship with Richter-Helm, which is already producing for Inovio a DNA-based vaccine candidate for another, unrelated disease.
"Having a trusted and proven partner ... is critical as we scale up our INO-4800 production," said Robert Juba, Inovio's vice president of biological manufacturing and clinical supply management, in a press statement.
"Richter-Helm BioLogics will transfer and rapidly scale up the current (400 L Scale) production process for INO-4800 DNA plasmid," Juba added.
On Tuesday, Inovio announced its Phase 1 trial of its Covid-19 vaccine was fully enrolled, with 40 health volunteers having received doses of INO-4800 and with initial immune response data and safety results due out in late June.