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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals  (INO) are climbing by 12.63% to $6.51 on heavy volume in mid-morning trading on Friday, as the company announced yesterday that it will begin patient recruitment for its MERS vaccine trial with GeneOne Life Science.

San Diego-based Inovio develops DNA immunotherapies and vaccines focused on treating and preventing cancers and infectious diseases.

MERS has no approved vaccines or treatments and this trial represents the first MERS vaccine to be tested in humans for the virus.

The viral respiratory illness can cause fever, cough and shortness of breath. MERS has triggered widespread outbreaks and deaths in the Middle East and Korea.

"As demonstrated by our recent vaccine development efforts for Ebola, we can readily apply Inovio's technology to target other threatening infectious threats like MERS and Zika virus as well as other emergent infectious diseases," Inovio President and CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim said in a statement on Thursday.

GeneOne Life Science is a South Korea-based biopharmaceutical company that is co-developing Inovio's MERS vaccine.

About 3.15 million of the company's shares have been traded by this morning, compared to its average volume of 1.6 million shares per day.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Sell" rating with a score of D+ on the stock. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: INO

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