Inovio Announces Covid-19 Vaccine Deal With Thermo Fisher

Thermo Fisher projects that it could produce at least 100 million doses of INO-4800 annually, Inovio says.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals  (INO) - Get Report said Tuesday that it had entered into a manufacturing agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific  (TMO) - Get Report to make the coronavirus vaccine candidate INO-4800.

Shares of the Plymouth Meeting, Penn.-based Inovio were slipping 3.% to $9.28 at last check, while Thermo Fisher dipped 1% to $406.09.

Inovio said Thermo Fisher will manufacture drug substance and perform fill-and-finish work for the vaccine. At peak capacity, Inovio said, Thermo Fisher projects that it could produce at least 100 million doses of INO-4800 annually.

Inovio said it was working with a consortium of manufacturing partners to help it meet its target of making 100 million doses of INO-4800 in 2021. 

Richter-Helm BioLogics and Ology Biosciences are part of the consortium and Inovio said it was in active discussions with additional manufacturers to join the group.

Having multiple manufacturers involved in the production of INO-4800 is intended to support timely, cost-effective and scalable production of the vaccine.

In June, Inovio said that INO-4800 was "deemed safe and well-tolerated" in all 40 of the participants in a Phase I clinical trial. The company said it submitted the full trial results for the first 40 subjects for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. 

Inovio said it plans to initiate its Phase 2/3 COVID-19 vaccine trials this month, subject to clearance by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 

Inovio received $71 million from the U.S. Department of Defense earlier this summer to ramp production of the company's smart device, Cellectra 3PSP, that administers INO-4800 into the skin, where the vaccine prompts the body's immune system to respond.

Last month, Thermo Fisher exited a planned acquisition of Germany-based coronavirus testing specialist Qiagen NV  (QGEN) - Get Report after failing to convince enough investors to support its improved $13 billion approach.