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Inovio Amends Chinese Deal for Immunotherapy, Shares Up

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. INO) have gained about 13.32%, after the company announced that it has entered into an amended agreement with Chinese partner — ApolloBio Corporation. Per the amended agreement, ApolloBio will have the exclusive right to develop and commercialize Inovio’s DNA immunotherapy product, VGX-3100, within Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan).

Currently, VGX-3100, which is an investigational candidate is in phase III study for the treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cervical pre-cancer.

According to the amended agreement, ApolloBio will make an upfront payment of $23 million up from the previously announced amount of $15 million along with potential future payments up to $20 million, upon meeting certain milestone. Further, Inovio is entitled to receive double-digit tiered royalty payments on sales. 

Inovioand ApolloBiohave also agreed to terminate ApolloBio’s right to purchase Inovio, which was part of the original deal. The greater upfront non-dilutive cash license fee of $23 million and exclusion of the equity provisions encouraged investors, which is reflected in Inovio’s share price movement on Jan 2. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

However, shares of Inovio have declined 33.8% against the industry’s gain of 5% in 2017.

The amended agreement is a positive for Inovio as it will enable the company to enhance its global efforts for VGX-3100. According to ApolloBio, this deal is an opportunity to bring late stage innovative new drugs to meet severely unmet medical needs within the Greater China region.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Inovio carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked health care stocks include Exelixis, Inc. EXEL, XOMA Corporation XOMA and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals SCMP. While Exelixis and XOMA sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Sucampo carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Exelixis’earnings per share estimates have moved up from 46 cents to 49 cents for 2017 and from 70 cents to 73 cents for 2018 in the last 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all the last four quarters, with an average beat of 572.92%. Share price of the company has surged 113.2% in 2017.

XOMA’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from $3.05 to 9 cents for 2017 and $1.23 to 42 cents for 2018 in the last 60 days. The company pulled off a positive earnings surprise in one of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 47.92%. Share price of the company has skyrocketed 622.7% in 2017.

Sucampo’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from 1 cent to $1.12 for 2017 and from $1.07 to $1.19 for 2018 in the last 30 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 15.63%. Share price of the company has increased 28.6% in 2017.

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XOMA Corporation (XOMA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SCMP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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