AstraZeneca Cuts Almost All Ties to Inovio Pharma

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) shares dipped on Wednesday after it was announced that the firm’s partnership with AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ: AZN) would be scaled back.

AstraZeneca subsidiary MedImmune is discontinuing a research agreement with Inovio, excluding the development of MEDI0457.

For some quick background: MEDI0457 is being evaluated for the treatment of cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV).

Inovio will still be eligible for milestone payments as this drug progresses in development.

According to the SEC filing:

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (the “Company”) has received notification from MedImmune Limited (“AstraZeneca”), a subsidiary of AstraZeneca PLC, that AstraZeneca intends to discontinue activities with respect to the research collaboration programs, other than MEDI0457, that are the subject of the parties’ license and collaboration agreement dated August 7, 2015. Under that agreement, in addition to MEDI0457, AstraZeneca had rights to co-develop up to two new DNA-based cancer vaccine product candidates.

The parties continue to pursue the development of MEDI0457, and AstraZeneca continues to evaluate MEDI0457, in combination with its PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, durvalumab, in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with cancers associated with human papillomavirus, or HPV. The Company continues to be eligible to receive potential milestone payments with respect to the development and commercialization of MEDI0457, as well as up to double-digit tiered royalties on any MEDI0457 product sales, if it is approved for marketing.

Shares of Inovio were last seen down about 2% at $3.08, in a 52-week range of $2.75 to $6.30. The consensus price target is $10.75.


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