Inovio Pharmaceuticals Reports 2017 Fourth Quarter and Year End Financial Results

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., March 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.

Total revenue was $8.8 million and $42.2 million for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017, respectively, as compared to $8.5 million and $35.4 million for the same periods in 2016.

Total operating expenses for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 were $31.7 million and $125.9 million, respectively, as compared to $30.9 million and $111.6 million for the same periods in 2016.

The net loss attributable to common stockholders for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 was $21.5 million, or $0.24 per basic share, and $88.2 million, or $1.08 per basic share, respectively, as compared to a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $26.2 million, or $0.35 per basic share, and $73.7 million, or $1.01 per basic share, for the same periods in 2016.


The increase in revenue for 2017 compared to 2016 was primarily due to higher revenues recognized under our collaborative research and development agreement with MedImmune. The previously deferred portion of an up-front payment received in September 2015, and other deferred amounts, totaling $13.8 million in the aggregate, were recognized in June 2017 upon MedImmune’s selection of the first cancer research collaboration product candidate. We also received a $7.0 million milestone payment in December 2017 for the initiation of the Phase 2 portion of an ongoing MEDI0457 clinical trial, which amount was fully recognized as revenue upon receipt. We also recognized an additional $1.2 million of revenue under our prior collaboration with Roche, as all remaining deferred revenue was recognized upon termination of that collaboration agreement in 2017. These increases in revenue under collaborative research and development arrangements were offset in part by lower revenues recognized from our DARPA Ebola grant and DARPA sub-contract for the treatment of infectious diseases.

Operating Expenses

Research and development expenses for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 were $24.6 million and $98.6 million, respectively, as compared to $23.9 million and $88.7 million for the same periods in 2016. The year over year increase in R&D expenses was primarily related to an increase in employee headcount to support our R&D and clinical trial activities. General and administrative expenses for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 were $8.0 million and $28.3 million, respectively, compared to $7.0 million and $23.9 million for the same periods in 2016. The increase in G&A expenses for the year was primarily related to an increase in employee headcount and non-cash stock based compensation.

Capital Resources

As of December 31, 2017, cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments were $127.4 million compared with $104.8 million as of December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2017, the Company had 90.4 million common shares outstanding and 99.6 million common shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis, after giving effect to outstanding options, warrants, restricted stock units and convertible preferred stock.

Inovio’s balance sheet and statement of operations are provided below. Inovio’s Annual Report on Form 10-K providing the complete 2017 annual financial report can be found at:

Corporate Update

VGX-3100: Cervical Precancer (Phase 3)

Since last June when Inovio commenced its pivotal Phase 3 clinical program to evaluate the efficacy of VGX-3100, Inovio’s DNA-based immunotherapy lead product candidate designed to treat cervical dysplasia (a precancerous condition) caused by human papillomavirus, the Company has already opened more than 50 U.S. trial sites and initiated nearly 10 trial sites internationally – to recruit patients.

In November 2017, Inovio provided post-hoc analysis of data generated from its Phase 2b trial of VGX-3100 in which the Company identified biomarker signatures which predicted success of VGX-3100 treatment as early as two weeks after the completion of treatment at week 14, which was a full 22 weeks prior to the formal efficacy assessment. These biomarkers could aid physicians in guiding patient care during treatment using VGX-3100.

In December 2017, Inovio entered into an Amended and Restated License and Collaboration Agreement with ApolloBio Corporation, which is expected to become effective in the first quarter of 2018 upon approval by ApolloBio’s stockholders and receipt of other regulatory approvals. Under the terms of the agreement, Inovio granted to ApolloBio the exclusive right to develop and commercialize VGX-3100 in Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The territory may be expanded to include Korea in the event that no patent covering VGX-3100 issues in China within the three years following the effective date of the agreement. Under the agreement, ApolloBio will pay Inovio an upfront payment of $23.0 million. In addition to the upfront payment, Inovio is entitled to receive up to an aggregate of $20.0 million upon the achievement of specified milestones related to the regulatory approval of VGX-3100 in the United States, China and Korea as well as tiered double-digit royalties on product sales.

INO-5401: Bladder Cancer (Phase 1b/2)

INO-5401 is Inovio’s T cell activating immunotherapy encoding for WT1, hTERT and PSMA, three of the top cancer antigens as determined by the National Cancer Institute.

In November 2017, Inovio published the results of preclinical studies in which researchers observed a synergistic effect in combining our TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase) cancer immunotherapy with a checkpoint inhibitor. In a mouse tumor model, the combination resulted in robust anti-tumor effects and significant improvement in survival compared to either therapy alone. These results were detailed in a paper published in Molecular Therapy entitled, “Synergy of Immune Checkpoint Blockade with a Novel Synthetic Consensus DNA Vaccine Targeting TERT”. This published paper highlights the potential benefits of DNA immunotherapy/immune checkpoint blockade combinations using PD-1 or CTLA4 checkpoint inhibitors in patients that respond poorly to immune checkpoint blockade alone, allowing for improved rational design of potential combination therapies. These preclinical results also suggest that the synergistic anti-tumor effect is due to the effect of immune checkpoint blockade on expanding effector T cells generated from the TERT therapy in the tumor microenvironment.

In October 2017, Inovio initiated a Phase 1b/2 immuno-oncology trial to evaluate Genentech/Roche’s PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®) in combination with INO-5401 and another of Inovio’s product candidates, INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12. The multi-center, open-label trial is evaluating safety, immune response and clinical efficacy in approximately 80 patients with advanced bladder cancer, specifically advanced unresectable or metastatic urothelial carcinoma. The majority of the patients to be enrolled in the trial will have previously received and failed to demonstrate meaningful response to an anti-PD-1 or PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor alone.

INO-5401: Glioblastoma (Phase 1b/2a)

In November 2017, Inovio initiated a Phase 1b/2a immuno-oncology trial to evaluate Regeneron’s PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor cemiplimab (REGN2810) in combination with INO-5401 and INO-9012. The open-label trial is evaluating safety, immune response and clinical efficacy in approximately 50 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive brain cancer.

MEDI0457: Head & Neck Cancer (Phase 1/2)

In December 2017, Inovio received a $7.0 million milestone payment from MedImmune as MEDI0457 (formerly called INO-3112, which MedImmune in-licensed from Inovio) in combination with durvalumab (MEDI4736) completed the Phase 1 safety review portion of the study and has advanced to the Phase 2 efficacy stage of the trial. As part of a $700 million 2015 license and collaboration agreement, MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, is evaluating MEDI0457 in combination with durvalumab, its PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, in patients with recurrent/metastatic HPV-associated head and neck squamous cancer (HNSCC) in a clinical trial with an estimated enrollment of 50 patients.

Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Collaboration

In January 2018, Inovio and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) entered into a clinical collaboration agreement to undertake clinical evaluation of novel combination regimens within the field of immuno-oncology. Under the agreement, PICI will have responsibility for clinical study execution, working in collaboration with its established network of clinical academic and industry cancer centers. Based on PICI’s novel approach to accelerating studies of cancer immunotherapies, the initial studies will also be funded by PICI.  Inovio, in turn, would provide financial contributions back to PICI if any of Inovio's product candidates studied under the collaboration reaches the initiation of a Phase 3 clinical trial. The collaboration with Inovio represents PICI’s first agreement within the field of DNA-based Immunotherapeutics.

Infectious Disease Vaccines

In January 2018, Inovio announced results from a preclinical study in which the Company’s synthetic vaccine approach, using a collection of synthetic DNA antigens, generated broad protective antibody responses against all major deadly strains of H1N1 influenza viruses from the last 100 years, including the virus that caused “Spanish Flu” in 1918, in multiple animal models, including mice, guinea pigs and non-human primates. These preclinical study results were detailed in a paper published in the journal Vaccine entitled, “Broad cross-protective anti-hemagglutination responses elicited by influenza microconsensus DNA vaccine”. In addition to the universal H1N1 flu vaccine program, Inovio is also developing similar universal flu vaccine approaches to cover all H3N2 and Type B flu viruses.

In early 2018, Inovio announced it will collaborate with The Wistar Institute to advance two novel SynCon® vaccine programs against tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, fully funded by more than $4.6 million in total grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Grants from the Gates Foundation (for malaria) and from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (for TB) will support Inovio’s efforts to develop new DNA vaccines employing its novel and versatile ASPIRE (Antigen SPecific Immune REsponses) platform that is leading the way forward for activation immunotherapy. The ASPIRE platform delivers optimized synthetic antigenic genes into cells, where they are translated into protein antigens that activate an individual's immune system to generate robust targeted T cell and antibody responses.

Conference Call / Webcast Information

Inovio’s management will host a live conference call and webcast at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time today to discuss Inovio’s financial results and provide a general business update.

The live webcast and a replay may be accessed by visiting the Company's website at Please connect to the Company's website at least 15 minutes prior to the live webcast to ensure adequate time for any software download that may be needed to access the webcast. Telephone replay will be available approximately two hours after the call at 877-481-4010 (domestic) or 919-882-2331 (international) using replay ID 26416.

About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Inovio is taking immunotherapy to the next level in the fight against cancer and infectious diseases. We are the only immunotherapy company that has reported generating T cells in vivo in high quantity that are fully functional and whose killing capacity correlates with relevant clinical outcomes with a favorable safety profile. With an expanding portfolio of immunotherapies, the Company is advancing a growing preclinical and clinical stage product pipeline. Partners and collaborators include MedImmune, Regeneron, Genentech, The Wistar Institute, University of Pennsylvania, DARPA, GeneOne Life Science, Plumbline Life Sciences, ApolloBio Corporation, Drexel University, National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, NIAID, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and U.S. Military HIV Research Program. For more information, visit

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our business, including our plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and DNA vaccines, our expectations regarding our research and development programs, including the planned initiation and conduct of clinical trials and the availability and timing of data from those trials, our expectations regarding the closing of the agreement with ApolloBio and the sufficiency of our capital resources. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of factors, including uncertainties inherent in pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and product development programs, the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of electroporation technology as a delivery mechanism or develop viable DNA vaccines, our ability to support our pipeline of SynCon® active immunotherapy and vaccine products, the ability of our collaborators to attain development and commercial milestones for products we license and product sales that will enable us to receive future payments and royalties, the adequacy of our capital resources, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by us or our collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost effective than any therapy or treatment that we and our collaborators hope to develop, issues involving product liability, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide us with meaningful protection from others using the covered technologies, whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity and whether we can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of our technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, the impact of government healthcare proposals and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and other regulatory filings we make from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product candidate in our pipeline will be successfully developed, manufactured or commercialized, that final results of clinical trials will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products, or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proven accurate. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise these statements, except as may be required by law.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
 December 31,
 2017 2016
Current assets:   
Cash and cash equivalents$23,786,579  $19,136,472 
Short-term investments103,638,844  85,629,412 
Accounts receivable6,003,205  15,821,511 
Accounts receivable from affiliated entities486,619  748,355 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets2,600,906  1,749,059 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets from affiliated entities1,846,007  1,512,424 
Total current assets138,362,160  124,597,233 
Fixed assets, net18,320,176  9,025,446 
Investment in affiliated entity - GeneOne9,069,401  16,052,065 
Investment in affiliated entity - PLS2,325,079  3,777,510 
Intangible assets, net6,009,729  7,628,394 
Goodwill10,513,371  10,513,371 
Other assets2,639,354  2,113,147 
Total assets$187,239,270  $173,707,166 
Current liabilities:   
Accounts payable and accrued expenses$23,278,798  $19,597,787 
Accounts payable and accrued expenses due to affiliated entities926,943  1,072,579 
Accrued clinical trial expenses8,611,892  6,368,389 
Common stock warrants360,795  1,167,614 
Deferred revenue1,175,353  14,762,720 
Deferred revenue from affiliated entities174,110  407,292 
Deferred rent877,535  446,646 
Total current liabilities35,405,426  43,823,027 
Deferred revenue, net of current portion215,853  317,808 
Deferred revenue from affiliated entities, net of current portion  86,694 
Deferred rent, net of current portion9,104,416  5,926,424 
Deferred tax liabilities24,766  174,793 
Total liabilities44,750,461  50,328,746 
Commitments and contingencies   
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. stockholders’ equity:   
Preferred stock—par value $0.001; Authorized shares: 10,000,000, issued and outstanding shares: 23 at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016   
Common stock—par value $0.001; Authorized shares: 600,000,000 at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, issued and outstanding: 90,357,644 at December 31, 2017 and 74,062,370 at December 31, 201690,358  74,062 
Additional paid-in capital665,775,504  556,718,356 
Accumulated deficit(523,356,317) (434,838,235)
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)(117,005) 1,327,968 
Total Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. stockholders’ equity142,392,540  123,282,151 
Non-controlling interest96,269  96,269 
Total stockholders’ equity142,488,809  123,378,420 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$187,239,270  $173,707,166 

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
 For the Year ended December 31,
 2017 2016 2015
Revenue under collaborative research and development arrangements$28,407,388  $6,490,747  $26,876,533 
Revenue under collaborative research and development arrangements with affiliated entities765,828  1,400,594  779,167 
Grants and miscellaneous revenue10,474,539  27,136,457  12,916,411 
Grants and miscellaneous revenue from affiliated entity2,572,331  340,563   
Total revenues42,220,086  35,368,361  40,572,111 
Operating expenses:     
Research and development98,572,618  88,712,035  57,791,923 
General and administrative28,290,369  23,892,263  18,063,890 
Gain on sale of assets(1,000,000) (1,000,000) (1,000,000)
Total operating expenses125,862,987  111,604,298  74,855,813 
Loss from operations(83,642,901) (76,235,937) (34,283,702)
Other income (expense):     
Interest and other income, net1,612,974  1,257,257  305,071 
Change in fair value of common stock warrants806,819  127,554  177,561 
Gain (loss) on investment in affiliated entity(6,982,664) 1,110,787  2,600,467 
Net loss before income tax benefit(88,205,772) (73,740,339) (31,200,603)
Income tax benefit    2,097,766 
Net loss(88,205,772) (73,740,339) (29,102,837)
Net income attributable to non-controlling interest    (84,769)
Net loss attributable to Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.$(88,205,772) $(73,740,339) $(29,187,606)
Net loss per common share attributable to Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. stockholders     
Basic$(1.08) $(1.01) $(0.43)
Diluted$(1.09) $(1.01) $(0.44)
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding used in per share calculations:     
Basic81,777,493  73,214,766  68,198,142 
Diluted81,918,022  73,214,766  68,365,265 

Investors:          Ben Matone, Inovio, 484-362-0076,
Media:              Jeff Richardson, Inovio, 267-440-4211,