Inovio investors may receive additional information about the case by clicking the link "Submit Your Information" above.
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 are a member of the class described above, you may no later than May 12, 2020 move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class, if you so choose.
A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed 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, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. Returning the attached form or communicating with any counsel is not necessary to participate or share in any recovery achieved in this case. Any member of the purported class may move the court to serve as a lead plaintiff through counsel of his/her choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an inactive class member.
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP has not filed a complaint in this matter. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP toll free at 1-844-887-9500 or 1-610-667-7706, or via e-mail at email@example.com. If you would like additional information about the suit, please click on the link "Submit Your Information" above and fill out the form as promptly as possible.
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP
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