Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares (INO) slid 8% Wednesday, after Muddy Waters said it has taken a short position in the stock, which has been boosted this year by high hopes for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The short selling firm, led by investor Carson Block, said in a series of tweets that a recent court decision ( ) "makes it clear that Inovio lacks manufacturing capacity to get remotely near purported goal of 1 million doses in 2020 and 100 million in 2021." The decision was made in a case Inovio brought against GeneOne Life Science Inc. and VGXI Inc. over a supply agreement. Muddy Waters also noted that Citron Research, another short seller, had compared Inovio to scandal-ridden Theranos earlier this year ( called it 'one of the longest running and most blatant stock promotion schemes ever witnessed." "We concur," said Muddy Waters. Inovio makes DNA based vaccines and immunotherapies for a range of diseases, including HPV and Zika, but hasn't yet had a product approved for treatment. The company is currently conducting a Phase 1 trial of its vaccine candidate, INO-4800, and has said it expects to start Phase 2/3 trials in September. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares are still up 218% in the year to date.
-Ciara Linnane; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 02, 2020 14:17 ET (18:17 GMT)
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