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  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals tumbled as much as 39% on Monday after the biotech firm announced a temporary hold on its mid-to-late-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine.
  • Inovio said the trial is on «partial clinical hold» until it answers questions from the Food and Drug Administration, which it plans to do in October.
  • News of the study’s halt triggered a trading pause of Inovio shares before the opening bell.
  • Crucially, the hold isn’t related to an adverse effect, and Inovio’s phase-one trial is still moving forward.
  • Watch Inovio trade live here.

Shares of the biotech firm Inovio Pharmaceuticals plummeted as much as 39% on Monday after the company announced a temporary pause to its mid-to-late-stage clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine.

Inovio said the trial is on «partial clinical hold» until it adequately answers the Food and Drug Administration’s questions about the trial and the delivery device to be used in it.

Inovio said it planned to address the questions in October. Once it does, the FDA has 30 days to decide whether the clinical trial can move forward. Inovio’s phase-one study is still proceeding.

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Premarket trading of Inovio stock was paused early Monday following the news. Shares tanked after the halt was lifted.

Crucially, the trial hold isn’t related to an adverse event. AstraZeneca made waves earlier this month after its phase-three trial of a vaccine candidate was paused because of a participant’s adverse reaction. It remains paused in the US as regulators investigate whether participants’ neurological illnesses are tied to the vaccine.

Inovio stock closed at $16.94 per share on Friday, up nearly 400% year-to-date. The company has six «buy» ratings, one «hold» rating, and no «sell» ratings, with a median price target of $22.

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