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Inovio class action lawsuit, explained

The Inovio Class Action lawsuit revolves around allegations that Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. misled investors regarding its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, INO-4800. Shareholders filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, claiming that Inovio falsely asserted it had developed a vaccine candidate in approximately three hours after receiving the COVID-19 genetic sequence. This statement, according to the shareholders, was a deliberate misrepresentation aimed at inflating the company’s stock price.

Inovio’s stock experienced significant fluctuations following these announcements. The stock rallied through February and reached a high in March, only to fall significantly after reports from short sellers questioned the veracity of the company’s claims about the vaccine’s development timeline. The lawsuit accused Inovio of making intentionally confusing statements to capitalize on pandemic-related fears and boost its stock price.

Inovio denied any wrongdoing but agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid further litigation costs and uncertainties. The settlement, amounting to $44 million, is to be paid in a combination of cash and stock and distributed to eligible investors who filed claims. This settlement follows the company’s struggle with the development of INO-4800, which failed to meet primary endpoints in a Phase 3 clinical trial.

The eligibility for the settlement includes investors who purchased Inovio stock between March 10, 2020, and March 8, 2021. The actual amount to be received by each claimant depends on several factors, including the number of shares purchased and the purchase dates. Settlement payments are expected to be distributed in early 2024. The deadline for filing a claim was December 19, 2022.

This lawsuit is a significant event for investors who felt misled by Inovio’s claims about its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. It highlights the complexities and challenges in the biotechnology industry, particularly in the high-stakes context of pandemic vaccine development​​​​​​.

As of December 12, 2023, the stock price of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO) was trading at approximately $0.3753 per share. This value indicates a significant decrease from its previous high points, reflecting the challenges and controversies the company has faced, including the class action lawsuit​

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