Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Securities Class Action Lawsuit
- Company Name
- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- February 14, 2020 to March 9, 2020
- Motion Deadline
- May 12, 2020
- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
On March 12, 2020, the Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. securities class action lawsuit was filed charging Inovio Pharmaceuticals and its Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit was commenced in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of Inovio Pharmaceuticals common stock between February 14, 2020 and March 9, 2020 (the “Class Period”) and is captioned McDermid v. Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 20-cv-01402.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company focused on rapidly bringing to market DNA medicines to treat, cure and/or protect people from infectious diseases.
As of March 12, 2020, the novel coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, had infected more than 120,000 people and caused approximately 4,300 deaths worldwide. Epidemiologists estimate that the number of COVID-19 cases in the world doubles every six days. In the United States, fears over the new coronavirus have had devastating economic and social consequences. Large public gatherings and major events have been canceled. Employees have been told to work from home, universities have moved all classes online, and elementary schools have closed for sanitizing. Declarations of emergency are being proclaimed, and New York has deployed the National Guard to the hard-hit city of New Rochelle, north of New York City. Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
During the Class Period, defendants capitalized on widespread COVID-19 fears by falsely claiming that Inovio Pharmaceuticals had developed a vaccine for COVID-19. First, on February 14, 2020, Inovio Pharmaceuticals CEO J. Joseph Kim appeared on Fox Business News with Neal Cavuto and stated that Inovio Pharmaceuticals had developed a COVID-19 vaccine “in a matter of about three hours once we had the DNA sequence from the virus,” and that “our goal is to start phase one human testing in the U.S. early this summer.” In response, Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ stock price rose more than 10% over the next few trading days, on enormous trading volume.
Two weeks later, following a well-publicized March 2, 2020 meeting with President Trump to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak, defendant Kim again claimed that Inovio Pharmaceuticals had developed a COVID-19 vaccine, stating that “we were able to fully construct our vaccine within three hours . . . . Our plan is to start [U.S. based COVID-19 trials] in April of this year.” The market responded favorably to Kim’s statement and Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ stock price shot up from its closing price of $4.28 per share on February 28, 2020 to close at $14.09 per share on March 6, 2020, and then reach an intra-day high of $19.36 per share on March 9, 2020 before closing at $9.83 per share.
However, in truth, Inovio Pharmaceuticals had not developed a COVID-19 vaccine. On March 9, 2020, before trading commenced, Citron Research (“Citron”) exposed defendants’ misstatements, calling for a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ “ludicrous and dangerous claim that they designed a [COVID-19] vaccine in 3 hours.” In response to the news, Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ stock price plummeted from its March 9, 2020 opening price of $18.72 per share to close at $9.83 per share. The following day, March 10, 2020, Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ stock price fell from its $9.30 per share opening price to close at $5.70 per share. The two-day price drop wiped out approximately $643 million of Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ market capitalization and marked a 70% decline from the stock’s Class Period intra-day high. In a message to shareholders that same day, Inovio Pharmaceuticals attempted to blunt the Citron revelations but only highlighted its own misstatements, admitting that it had not developed a COVID-19 vaccine, but rather, had merely “designed a vaccine construct” – i.e., a precursor for a vaccine – and that it believed it had a “viable approach to address the COVID-19 outbreak.”
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits any investor who purchased Inovio Pharmaceuticals common stock during the Class Period to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in the Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit. A lead plaintiff will act on behalf of all other class members in directing the Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit. The lead plaintiff can select a law firm of its choice to litigate the Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit. An investor’s ability to share in any potential future recovery of the Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff of the Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit or have questions concerning your rights regarding the Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit, please visit our website by clicking here or contact Michael Albert at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lead plaintiff motions for the Inovio Pharmaceuticals securities class action lawsuit must be filed with the court no later than May 12, 2020.
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading law firms representing investors in securities class action litigation. With 200 lawyers in 9 offices, Robbins Geller has obtained many of the largest securities class action recoveries in history. For six consecutive years, ISS Securities Class Action Services has ranked the Firm in its annual SCAS Top 50 Report as one of the top law firms in the world in both amount recovered for shareholders and total number of class action settlements. Robbins Geller attorneys have helped shape the securities laws and have recovered tens of billions of dollars on behalf of aggrieved victims. Beyond securing financial recoveries for defrauded investors, Robbins Geller also specializes in implementing corporate governance reforms, helping to improve the financial markets for investors worldwide. Robbins Geller attorneys are consistently recognized by courts, professional organizations and the media as leading lawyers in the industry.