U.S. govt stops funding for late-stage study of Inovio's COVID-19 vaccine

Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Adds details from company statement, background

April 23 (Reuters) - Drug developer Inovio Pharmaceuticals INO.O said on Friday the U.S. government had stopped funding for a late-stage study testing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, due to the increasing availability of authorized shots in the country.

"This decision is not a reflection of the awardee or product, rather a fast-moving environment associated with the former Operation Warp Speed on decisions related to future products," the U.S. Department of Defense told Inovio, according to a company statement.

The department will continue to fund an ongoing mid-stage study testing its vaccine candidate INO-4800, Inovio said.

The U.S. government last year launched the Operation Warp Speed program to provide funding for companies developing drugs and vaccines to combat the coronavirus.

The United States has since authorized the use of three vaccines from Pfizer Inc PFE.N and partner BioNTech SE 22UAy.DE, Moderna Inc MRNA.O and Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N.

Inovio said it was planning for a late-stage global study mostly outside the United States based on the upcoming results from the mid-stage trial.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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