RADNOR, Pa., April 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP reminds Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) (“Inovio”) investors that a securities fraud class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Inovio on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise acquired Inovio common stock between February 14, 2020 and March 9, 2020, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
Important Deadline Reminder: Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired Inovio common stock during the Class Period may, no later than May 12, 2020, seek to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class. For additional information or to learn how to participate in this litigation please click https://www.ktmc.com/inovio-pharmaceuticals-securities-class-action?utm_source=PR&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=inovio.
According to the complaint, Inovio is a biotechnology company focused on rapidly bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines to treat, cure and/or protect people from infectious diseases. The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has become a global “pandemic” due to its extraordinary speed and scale of transmission. According to the World Health Organization (“WHO”) Director-General, the WHO is deeply concerned by both the alarming levels of spread and severity of COVID-19. During the Class Period, the defendants capitalized on widespread COVID-19 fears by falsely claiming that Inovio had developed a vaccine for COVID-19.
The Class Period commences on February 14, 2020, when Inovio Chief Executive Officer, J. Joseph Kim (“Kim”), appeared on Fox Business News with Neal Cavuto, and stated that Inovio had developed a COVID-19 vaccine “in a matter of about three hours once we had the DNA sequence from the virus” and “our goal is to start phase one human testing in the U.S. early this summer.” In response, Inovio’s stock price rose more than 10% over the next few trading days. Two weeks later, following a well-publicized March 2, 2020 meeting with President Donald J. Trump to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak, Kim again claimed that Inovio had developed a COVID-19 vaccine, stating “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’s stock price more than quadrupled from $4.28 per share on February 28, 2020, and continued to increase in the following weeks, reaching an intra-day high of $19.36 on March 9, 2020.
According to the complaint, on March 9, 2020, before trading commenced, Citron Research (“Citron”) exposed the defendants’ misstatements, calling for an SEC investigation into Inovio’s “ludicrous and dangerous claim that they designed a [COVID-19] vaccine in 3 hours.” Following this news, Inovio’s stock price plummeted from its March 9 opening price of $18.72 per share to close at $9.83. On March 10, 2020, Inovio’s stock price fell from its $9.30 per share opening price to close at $5.70 per share. The two-day drop wiped out approximately $643 million in market capitalization for Inovio, marking a 71% decline from its Class Period high. In a message to shareholders that same day, Inovio 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 complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, the defendants falsely: (1) described their product as a fully completed vaccine when it was nothing of the sort; (2) claimed they had developed the vaccine in a matter of hours, which is a scientific impossibility; and (3) stated that they would be able to begin human trials in April 2020 when they had no reason to believe that they would have the necessary regulatory approvals to do so.
If you wish to discuss this securities fraud class action lawsuit or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to this litigation, please contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check (James Maro, Jr., Esq. or Adrienne Bell, Esq.) at (844) 877-9500 (toll free) or (610) 667–7706, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inovio investors may, no later than May 12, 2020, seek to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class through Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, or other counsel, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. A lead plaintiff is a representative party who acts on behalf of all class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed as a lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision of whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check prosecutes class actions in state and federal courts throughout the country involving securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duties and other violations of state and federal law. Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and individual investors from the United States and around the world. The firm represents investors, consumers and whistleblowers (private citizens who report fraudulent practices against the government and share in the recovery of government dollars). The complaint in this action was not filed by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check. For more information about Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, please visit www.ktmc.com.
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP
James Maro, Jr., Esq.
Adrienne Bell, Esq.
280 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087
(844) 877-9500 (toll free)