Investigation of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INO) Accused of Misleading Shareholders
According to the complaint for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between February 14, 2020 and March 9, 2020, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) declared the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak a global “pandemic” due to its extraordinary “speed and scale of transmission.” By this time, COVID-19 had infected more than 120,000 people and caused approximately 4,300 deaths worldwide, instilling international fear. In response to mounting public concern, on February 14, 2020, Inovio’s CEO announced on national news that the Company had developed a COVID-19 vaccine “in a matter of about three hours” and re-affirmed this statement two weeks later in a well-publicized meeting with President Trump. As a result, Inovio’s stock price more than quadrupled. However, contrary to these claims, on March 9, 2020, Citron Research exposed Invoio’s misstatements, calling for an SEC investigation into Inovio’s “dangerous claim that they designed a [COVID-19] vaccine in 3 hours.” Consequently, Inovio admitted the Company had not developed a COVID-19 vaccine but rather a “vaccine construct.” On this news, Inovio’s stock price declined to a mere $5.70 per share, representing a 71% decline from the Company’s class period high of $19.36 per share.