Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript


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Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO 1.96%)
Q4 2023 Earnings Call
Mar 06, 2024, 4:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Inovio fourth-quarter and year-end 2023 financial results conference call. At this time, all lines are in listen-only mode. Following the presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. [Operator instructions] This call is being recorded on Wednesday, March 6th, 2024.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Thomas Hong, manager of investor relations. Please go ahead.

Thomas HongInvestor Relations Manager

Good afternoon and thank you for joining the Inovio 2023 fourth-quarter and full-year financial results conference call. Joining me on today’s call are Dr. Jackie Shea, president and chief executive officer; Dr. Michael Sumner, chief medical officer; Mark Twyman, chief commercial officer; and Peter Kies, chief financial officer. Today’s call will review our corporate and financial information for the quarter and full year ended December 31st, 2023, as well as provide a general business update.

Following prepared remarks, we will conduct a question-and-answer segment. During the call, we will be making forward-looking statements regarding future events and the future performance of the company. These events relate to our business plans to develop Inovio’s DNA medicines platform, which include clinical and regulatory developments and timing of clinical data readouts, along with capital resources and strategic matters. All of these statements are based on the beliefs and expectations of management as of today.

Actual events or results could differ materially. We refer you to the documents we file from time to time with the SEC, which, under the heading Risk Factors, identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed by the company verbally, as well as statements made within this afternoon’s press release. This call is being webcast live and a link can be found on our website, ir.inovio.com, and a replay will be made available shortly after this call is concluded. I will now turn the call over to Inovio’s president and CEO, Dr.

Jackie Shea.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Good afternoon and thank you to everyone for joining today’s call. The past 12 months have been transformational for Inovio. Today, we are a company planning to submit our first BLA in the second half of this year and preparing for the potential commercial launch of our first products in 2025. If approved, INO-3107 could also become the first nonsurgical therapeutic option for patients with RRP and be the first DNA medicine available in the United States.

To achieve this transformation, we have prioritized our product pipeline to focus on 3107 and other promising late-stage assets, all with high unmet medical need and strong commercial potential. We’ve remained committed to financial discipline, cutting our operating expenses nearly in half compared with 2022, and focused on leveraging the advantages of our platform to deliver on the promise of DNA medicine. In addition to the significant progress made with 3107, our strategic refocus help drive progress across the pipeline, including a new clinical collaboration and supply agreement with Coherus Biosciences to develop INO-3112 in combination with LOQTORZI for throat cancer. We also shared encouraging results for INO-4201 as an Ebola booster vaccine continued to advance other clinical-stage candidates and made progress with promising preclinical research opportunities for next-generation candidates, adding to the positive momentum. Looking ahead, several key catalysts will help continue that momentum across our pipeline. In addition to submitting our BLA for 3107, under FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program, we plan to initiate a confirmatory trial in the second half of 2024, and we’ll continue preparations for a potential 2025 launch. For our immuno-oncology candidates, we plan to finalize the trial design for evaluation of 3112 in combination with LOQTORZI in patients with throat cancer, as well as determine next steps for 5401 in glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

We also expect some key milestones for our infectious disease candidates, including discussions with collaborators and potential partners around development plans for INO-4201 as an Ebola booster vaccine in the first half of 2024 and a readout of the first clinical data from the phase one Trial evaluating the anti-SARS-CoV-2 DMAb candidates in the second half of 2024. I’d now like to pass the call over to our CMO, Mike Sumner, who will provide some additional details on our clinical progress over the past year and our goals for the year ahead.

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Thank you very much, Jackie, and greetings, everyone. As Jackie outlined, we have made significant progress across our pipeline over the past year, thanks to a strong strategic vision that prioritizes promising candidates with strong commercial potential. One of the highlights has been the significant progress of INO-3107 for the treatment of Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, or RRP. For those who are not familiar with RRP, it is a devastating rare disease of the respiratory tract caused by HPV 6 and 11. It is characterized by wart-like growths called papillomas that can develop throughout the respiratory tract, but primarily affect the larynx and vocal cords.

RRP most commonly causes difficulty speaking or complete voice loss, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and choking episodes. In rare cases, papillomas can spread to the lungs or become malignant. Incidence and prevalence of RPP is variable globally and depends on several factors. The most widely cited U.S. epidemiology data published in 1995 estimated that there were 14,000 active cases for both adults and juveniles and about 1.8 new cases per 100,000 adults per year. The only way to remove the papilloma is surgery, but surgery doesn’t address the underlying HPV infection.

So, the papillomas grow back, often forcing patients to have multiple surgeries a year. In the worst cases, that could be hundreds of surgeries over a lifetime. This puts an extreme physical and emotional burden on patients, including the threat of permanent vocal cord damage, impacting the patient’s ability to speak normally ever again. A recent study found that even patients who had had less than five surgery face a 50% chance of permanent vocal cord damage. In patients who have had 10 or more surgeries, that increases to a 98% chance.

From our conversations with patients and healthcare providers, RRP patients are desperate for a nonsurgical treatment option. As Kim McClellan, president of the RRP foundation, reiterated last week at the White House Forum on Rare Diseases, even one less surgery a year would be life-changing for patients. This slide shows the very real impact of INO-3207 has had in reducing surgeries for RRP patients in our phase 1/2 trial. As you can see here, the majority of patients, 81%, saw a reduction in surgery after treatment, with 28% needing no surgeries at all during the year after treatment. As a reminder, we counted all surgeries, including any surgeries performed during the dosing window. We believe 3107 has the potential to completely change the treatment paradigm for patients as a therapeutic adjunct to surgery.

As you can see on this updated timeline, we have achieved some major development and regulatory milestones in just over a year. In the first quarter of 2023, we shared positive results from our phase 1/2 trial, which were later published in a leading peer-reviewed journal read by our future physician customer base. In the second quarter, we received Orphan Drug designation in the European Union, followed by Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA in the fourth quarter. We now have an established path to BLA submission under the FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program and announced plans earlier this year to submit a BLA in the second half of 2024. Looking forward, some of the key catalysts on the horizon for INO-3107 include completing submission of a BLA under the Accelerated Approval Program in the second half of ’24, initiating our confirmatory trial prior to that submission; requesting rolling submission and priority review, which would lead to possible action on our BLA application within six months compared to the usual 10- month review; we will also target publication of our immunological data supporting the mechanism of action of 3107 in the second half of the year; and finally, commercial launch in 2025 if we receive FDA approval. Our chief commercial officer, Mark Twyman, will provide an update on our commercial preparations, and we look forward to accelerating the development of this promising product candidate over the next year and ultimately delivering on the promise of our DNA medicine for RRP patients across the United States. Shifting gears now to another late-stage DNA medicine. I’d like to spend some time talking about INO-3112 and our exciting new clinical collaboration and supply agreement with Coherus Biosciences that we announced earlier this year.

This partnership will allow us to evaluate 3112 in combination with LOQTORZI, a PD-1 inhibitor that recently received FDA approval for treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. We will be studying this combination therapy as a potential treatment for patients with loco-regionally advanced high-risk HPV 16 and 18 positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. In combination, this therapeutic approach is designed to leverage the antigen-specific T cells elicited by 3112 and the anti-tumor immunity generated by LOQTORZI to potentially provide improved patient outcomes. Under the terms of the agreement, Coherus will provide LOQTORZI for use in a planned phase 3 clinical trial and provide support for regulatory interactions. With this collaboration in place, we have submitted our clinical development plans to the FDA and expect to receive feedback in the second quarter. So, what is oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma? It’s a type of head and neck cancer that occurs in the base of the tongue, tonsils, and/or soft palate, and is most commonly referred to as throat cancer. Throat cancer is typically closely related to high-risk subtypes of HPV, which are responsible for 70 to 80% of all oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed in the United States. There are also associated with tobacco and alcohol us.

HPV-positive throat cancer is rapidly increasing in incidence among patients in high-income countries and has surpassed cervical cancer as the most common HPV-related cancer diagnosed in the U.S., with nearly 20,000 new cases each year. Most throat cancer patients are diagnosed with loco-regionally advanced disease, and the current treatment practice is focused on curative options through the use of multi-therapeutic approaches including surgery and chemoradiotherapy. With this treatment protocol, about 75% of patients do very well as measured by a three-year progression-free survival. However, those 25% of patients who have their cancer progress face very poor clinical outcomes. Our proposed trial of INO-3112 in combination with LOQTORZI will be in patients who are HPV 16 or 18-positive and exhibit a high risk of recurrent disease, with the goal of preventing disease progression. There are an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 new patients in the U.S.

every year who are deemed to meet these criteria. Based on previous trial data and a growing body of research indicating that DNA medicines are adept at combating HPV-related diseases, there is a strong rationale in combining 3112 with a proven PD-1 inhibitor. Results from a phase 1/2 trial of 3112 as a single agent treatment in 22 HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients demonstrated T-cell responses and infiltration of CD8-positive T cells into the tumors. In early ’23, updated results were also published from a different phase 1/2 trial of 3112 in combination with AstraZeneca’s PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, durvalumab, showing an overall response rate of 28%, which was comprised of four complete responses and four partial responses in 29 evaluable patients. This was accompanied once again by increased peripheral HPV-specific T cells and tumoral CD8-positive T cells. The efficacy of this combination of 3112 with durvalumab resulted in a median overall survival of more than 29 months.

This compares favorably to immune checkpoint blockade therapy alone, which reports median overall survival of approximately 12 months. This combined data set provides compelling evidence to support our belief in the potential of INO-3112 and LOQTORZI. I will now turn the call over to Mark to provide an update on our commercialization efforts for INO-3107. Mark?

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

Thanks, Mike. Hello, everyone. I’m pleased to share that our commercial efforts for INO-3107 are well underway as we continue to prepare for a potential 2025 launch. While there’s still much work to be done, I’m confident in our commercial launch strategy for several important reasons. First, we have made understanding patients and their experiences a top priority every step of the way. To continue building on our understanding of the market, we held an advisory board panel in October of last year with adult patients suffering from RRP.

They shared their journeys, from diagnosis to treatment, and provided invaluable insights into the unmet needs of the RRP patient community at large. We have also conducted other advisory boards with healthcare providers specializing in the treatment of RRP and with caregivers of juvenile patients. Next, we understand that mapping the physician landscape will be critical to our commercial success. To this end, we have initiated a very comprehensive market analysis of physicians that treat RRP that will allow us to focus field — that will allow us to focus field deployment and make smart investment decisions. We also have an experienced commercial team that is well-versed in every aspect of the commercialization process for innovative products, particularly for rare diseases. Our collective expertise in putting the plans and essential systems in place for successful launch has been essential to our progress thus far and will help ensure that we stay on track moving forward. And perhaps most importantly, we believe that INO-3107 offers potential compelling clinical and commercial advantages that will serve as an important foundation to our commercial efforts.

As you can see here, the FDA has advised that we can use the data from our completed phase1/2 trial to submit a BLA under the Accelerated Approval Program. In the trial, INO-3107 was immunogenic and generally well tolerated in over 80% of patients across the disease severity continuum had a reduction in the number of surgeries compared to the previous year. This data was key in supporting our application for, and subsequent receipt of, Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA. From a commercial standpoint, INO-3107 offers several key differentiators. It targets and has shown similar efficacy across both HPV 6 and HPV 11, which cause RRP.

Patients in our trial had a range of two to eight surgeries in the prior year with efficacy demonstrated across the range of disease severity. INO-3107 also offers important attributes typical of our DNA medicines platform, including the potential for redosing and stability for up to three years at refrigerator temperatures. Administration with Cellectra, a proprietary electroporation device, was well tolerated by patients and was easy to use for healthcare providers in the phase 1/2 trial, consistent with its use in other trials. Also important for the commercialization of INO-3107 is our well-defined commercial scale manufacturing process, as well as Orphan Drug — Orphan Drug designation in both the U.S. and EU, which offer the potential commercial incentives and regulatory mechanisms in those markets. I’ll now turn the call back to our CEO, Jackie Shea, for some additional pipeline updates.

Jackie?

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Mark. Mark has highlighted the important progress we’ve made with both INO-3107 and INO-3112, and we are focusing the majority of our internal resources on advancing those candidates. However, we have several other late-stage clinical-stage assets and next-generation candidates that we plan to advance through partnerships and collaborations across industry, academia, and governmental agencies. I’d like to provide a brief update on each of them. Earlier, I mentioned the encouraging results we announced in early 2023 from our phase 1B clinical trial of 4201 as an Ebola vaccine booster candidate.

More recently, we’ve received feedback from the FDA and identified a potential development pathway and are now in discussions with collaborators and potential partners to define next steps. INO-5401 has two current disease targets. For glioblastoma, we’re in discussions with our partner, Regeneron, and investigators about next steps, and our goal is to have a finalized plan in the first half of 2024. The second target is to prevent cancer or reoccurrence of cancer in adult cancer or non-cancer patients with BRCA1 or 2 mutations. A phase 1B study is being conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, and we look forward to updates as they become available. Our partner, ApolloBio, is also conducting a phase 3 trial of VGX-3100 as a therapeutic treatment in cervical HSIL caused by HPV 16 and 18.

A phase 2 trial sponsored by the AIDS Malignancy Consortium is also underway, evaluating VGX-3100 in HIV-positive participants with anal HSIL caused by HPV 16 and 18. And there is also exciting work advancing next-generation DNA medicine technology, including a trial with our collaborators at the Wistar Institute evaluating DNA-launched nanoparticles, or DLNPs. DLNPs are designed to provide high, maintained levels of antibody responses, including neutralizing antibodies, while continuing to generate T cell responses. The first DLNP to enter clinical trials, INO-6172, is a preventative HIV vaccine candidate in a phase 1 trial sponsored and funded by NIAID. And finally, Wistar and partners from AstraZeneca, the University of Pennsylvania, and Indiana University are leading a phase 1 trial using our DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody, or DMAb, technology to develop DMAbs as both therapeutic and preventative treatments for COVID-19. We’re excited about what the future holds for these innovative technologies.

Look forward to sharing more in the year ahead. I’ll now turn the call over to our CFO, Peter Kies, for our fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 financial summary. Peter?

Peter KiesChief Financial Officer

Thank you, Jackie. Today, I’d like to provide an overview of Inovio’s operational highlights and financial condition for the fourth quarter and full year of 2023. As Jackie, Mike, and Mark have noted, we have made significant progress across our pipeline over the past year, advancing key candidates while working successfully to reduce our operational spend after our pipeline reprioritization. As you can see from this slide, we have again reduced our total operating spend, dropping from 56.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 27.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, a 51% decrease. Our full-year operating expenses were also nearly cut in half, from 277.8 million for 2022 to 144.8 million for 2023.

Breaking down operating expenses a bit more. Our R&D expenses in the fourth quarter of 2023 totaled 17.3 million, compared to 42.1 million for the same period in 2022. Our full-year R&D expenses for 2023 were 86.7 million, compared to 187.7 million for the same period in 2022. The year over decrease — year-over-year decrease in R&D expenses was primarily the result of lower drug manufacturing, clinical trial expenses, outside services, and expense inventory related to INO-4800 and other COVID-19 studies, and lower employee and consulting compensation including stock-based compensation, among other variances. G&A expenses for the fourth-quarter 2023 were 10.2 million, compared to 14 million for the same period in 2022.

G&A expenses for the full year of 2023 were 47.6 million, compared to 90.2 million for the same period in 2022. Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2023 were 103,000, compared to 125,000 for the same period in 2022. Revenues for the full year of 2023 were 832,000, compared to 10.3 million for the same period in 2022. Note that revenues reported for 2022 was associated with the procurement contract with the U.S.

Department of Defense for Inovio’s, devices and accessories to be used for the delivery of INO-4800, our COVID vaccine candidate, which we have since discontinued. These factors combine to bring our net loss for the fourth quarter of 2023 to 25 million, or $1.10 per share basic and diluted, and our net loss for the full-year 2023 to 135.1 million, or $6.09 per share basic and diluted. We finished the fourth quarter of 2023 with 145.3 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments, compared to 253 million as of December 31st, 2022. Inovio estimates its cash runway to extend into the second quarter of 2025. This projection includes an operational net cash burn estimate of approximately 26 million for the first quarter of 2024.

This amount excludes repayment of 17 million in remaining principal and accrued interest on — on convertible senior notes that matured on March 1st, 2024. Including the repayment, the total net cash burn for the first quarter of 2024 is expected to be approximately 43 million. These cash runway projections do not include any funds that may be raised through an aftermarket program or other capital-raise activities. As a reminder, you can find our full financial statements in this afternoon’s press release, as well as in our form 10-K filed with the SEC.

And with that, I’ll turn it back over to Jackie.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Peter. I’d now like to open up the call to answer any questions you might have. Operator?

Questions & Answers:

Operator

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We will now begin the question-and-answer session. [Operator instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Hartaj Singh with Oppenheimer Company. Please go ahead.

Hartaj SinghOppenheimer and Company — Analyst

Oh, great, thank you. Thanks for the questions. I just — I have a couple, actually, if you don’t mind. One is, I know the confirmatory trial has been in discussion with the FDA for — for a little bit.

In fact, I believe you were going to start that sometime last year or early this year, you know. And then, the FDA kind of grant you that accelerated approval process. Can you maybe just give us some color on what that looks like, and especially, how long would it take to recruit; you know, the evaluation period, and roughly when it could read out? And, again, we’re not looking for any guidance. And then, secondly, you know, we talked to a lot of KOLs, you know, about this in, you know, therapy in RRP.

They think it should broadly apply to a lot of patients. There’s academics, you know, literature that suggests that, you know, cost of surgery, 70,000 to $100,000 per patient per year, but it adds up over time. Just how are you thinking of pricing comps? And so, just any color there or any thoughts there? Again, thanks for the questions.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Good afternoon, Hartaj. That’s a great question. So, as I think we covered in the call, in our BTD multidisciplinary meeting that we held with the FDA just before Christmas, we got guidance on a number of different elements that needed to go into our BLA submission. And as — and part of that was getting some further guidance on the design of that confirmatory trial. So, I’m going to hand over to — to Mike to provide a bit more detail there.

And then, perhaps, Mark, you can talk about some of the comparators and thoughts on pricing. So, Mike?

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Yeah, thanks, Jackie, and hi, Hartaj. With respect to the confirmatory trial, I think we’re in the final stages with — with discussing the — the details with the agency. So, I’m hoping we will soon be in a position to reveal the sort of details around our design and — and future strategy. You also asked about sort of recruitment and — and readout.

You know, until we — we get the final on the sample size, it’s difficult to totally predict how long it’s going to take. But, you know, what I — what I can say is, you know, we included eight clinical trial sites in our original phase 1/2 study. We’re certainly going to go broader than that for a confirmatory study. And I think, you know, we’ve talked consistently about the patient need and their openness to receive treatment for a non-surgical option. So, I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to recruit the subjects pretty quickly. And again, with respect to readout, that — that’s really going to depend on what the final — final design and sort of length of observation that we’re going to need to include.

But hopefully, next quarterly call, I’ll be able to provide some more color around that.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Mike. And, Mark, on the — on the pricing parameters.

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

Yes. Hey, Hartaj, good — good to talk to you. So, I think what we’ve said previously is that, you know, RRP is a rare disease, and we would anticipate, you know, rare disease pricing for this asset. I think with that said, though, there are a number of rare disease analogs, some of which also are positioned as alternatives to surgery that we’re assessing as a part of the pricing work that we’re doing.

And I would say that as we get closer to the launch, we’ll be in a better position to say more about that.

Hartaj SinghOppenheimer and Company — Analyst

OK. If I go — can I just have a quick follow-up on just that? I mean, will you be publishing pharmacoeconomic data also as you get closer to launching, or maybe after that, on — on — on 3107? And thanks for all the questions.

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

I think I’m — I’m going to direct that — that question to Mike. Mike, would you like to respond to that?

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Yeah, certainly. I mean, we — we obviously didn’t include too many quality of life or impact on the patients in our phase 1/2 study. I mean, we will — we are certainly in the process of assessing how we can document the impact to — you know, of RRP on patients, and we will most likely include more measures prospectively in our confirmatory study. So, again, we — we will have — I mean, obviously we will aim to have supporting evidence for — for the price that we eventually set.

Hartaj SinghOppenheimer and Company — Analyst

OK, thank you, all.

Operator

Question comes from the line of Roy Buchanan with Citizens. Please go ahead.

Roy BuchananJMP Securities — Analyst

Hey, great. I guess maybe just sticking to 3107 for a second, then I have a few others. But just when you say commercial-scale manufacturing, how many patients do you think you can address in 2025? Do you think you can address the entire population, or just what are you thinking for initial penetration?

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, so, Mark, do you want to take that one?

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

Sure, I’ll take a whack at that, and if there’s some additional comments, feel free to add. I guess the way I respond to that question is we’ve, you know, as you would expect, we’ve done sort of, you know a lot of modeling. And we’ve been working sort of closely with our — with our manufacturing team, and sort of we’re confident that sort of, you know, based on our — our market projections and our estimates around, you know, adoption, and etc. — etc., that we’ll be able to sort of fully meet the demand for — for 3107.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, and if I can just add on the manufacturing side, you know, we had already got two commercial scale for some other product candidates. And, you know, this is a rare disease. In terms of dose requirements, the — the actual numbers of dose requirements is — is very manageable for us from a manufacturing standpoint. So, I think we’re pretty well positioned, from a manufacturing standpoint, to be able to build up the launch inventory and be able to support the market need over the first couple of years pretty easily.

Roy BuchananJMP Securities — Analyst

OK, perfect. Switching to the pipeline — deeper pipeline a bit. I guess, for 3112, anything you could tell us about the design that you submitted for that phase 3, and do you expect that it can be registrational by itself? And then, the — the last slide deck you had, you know, eight additional clinical-stage candidates, can you just help us understand a bit what, I guess, level of development you can do for those candidates given the runway into — into 2Q ’25? I guess what does that runway assume in terms of what you can develop out of the pipeline beyond 3107? Thanks.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, that’s great. So — so, Mike, why don’t you take the 3112 phase 3 design and what we’re thinking there, and then I can talk about the rest of the pipeline candidate?

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Yeah, thank you. So, I mean, we — as you heard in the call today, we — we clearly sort of articulated the patient population that we’re going after, you know, high-risk patients with loco-regionally advanced disease. And high risk really comes down to based on tumor size, local infiltration, local node involvement, and also smoking history. So, I think we — we did a lot of work with KOLs on a global basis to — to define that population.

I mean, as we think of developing this — this candidate, I mean, based on the well-known safety profile of PD-1 inhibitors and — and also the well-documented safety profile of our DNA medicines, we certainly feel we can do a registration study. Obviously, that will ultimately be decided by the agency. And, you know, as we — as we’ve looked to that design, we’ve followed sort of very traditional ways. I mean, obviously, the agency is going to want to understand contribution of components.

So, that is clearly an element of the design we’ve — we’ve submitted to the agency. And so, we’re really waiting to have that discussion with them in Quarter 2 to determine what our actual pathway forward really looks like.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Mike. And just to talk about the rest of the pipeline, as I mentioned on the call, clearly, we’re focusing the majority of our internal resources on advancing 3107 toward license here and then the launch, hopefully, next year and then moving 3112 forward. We do have a number of partnerships in place for the other assets in our pipeline, and we’re going to be leveraging those partnerships and non-dilutive funding mechanisms, grants, etc., to be able to — to help move those candidates forward. And some of the earlier-stage work, particularly the preclinical work, we can also move forward ourselves.

So, we think we have ways leveraging those partnerships’ non-dilutive funding mechanisms of moving those candidates forward to — to generate some meaningful progress as well.

Roy BuchananJMP Securities — Analyst

OK, thanks for taking the questions.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Gregory Renza with RBC Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Anish NikhanjRBC Capital Markets — Analyst

Hi, guys. It’s Anish on for Greg. Thanks for taking my questions. Just a couple for me.

Firstly, on 3107 RRP, just when thinking about — thinking ahead to market shaping, what are some of the pushback you’ve gotten to date when engaging KOLs on getting patients onto a therapy like 3107 versus standard-of-care surgery? And how has that feedback been built into your awareness and education directives? And secondly, a question on 3112, if you could just walk us through how the collaboration with Coherus came to be, the selection of LOQTORZI as a combination candidate among other potential candidates, and how you can best leverage the partnership going forward. Thanks again.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, thanks, Anish. They’re really great candidates. So, I’m going to ask Mark to comment on how we’re thinking about 3107. And – and, Mike, maybe you’d like to comment on some of the clinical aspects there.

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

Yeah, thanks, Jackie. I guess the first thing I would say, from a commercial perspective, I’ve never been more excited about launching a new product. And I think it speaks to — specifically, I’m going to address your question. You know, we’ve conducted, you know, multiple advisory boards with both HCPs that are treating RRP, as well as sort of patients. We’ve been, you know, closely aligned with, you know, listening to — to what the RRP Foundation suggests is important for, you know , probably the last, you know, three or four years.

And one of the things that we’ve heard is that physicians don’t like doing the surgery, right? They’re looking for an alternative to surgery. As Mike, you know, has alluded to, I mean, surgery doesn’t address the underlying infection, right? So, they’re just in this cycle of, you know, surgical procedure after surgical procedure, and it’s actually the surgery that’s driving the morbidity. So, they’re looking for an option, right? And this is sort of unlike, you know, other launches where you’re replacing a surgical alternative in that physicians are welcoming it, right? There’s no disincentive for them to use this — INO-3107 because the — the current standard of care is wholly inadequate. And similarly, from a — from a patient perspective, as Mike mentioned, it’s a devastating disease, and even the reduction of sort of one surgery a year can be life-changing for them. So, I’m — I’m really really confident that everything that we’ve learned about this marketplace portends that, you know, we’re going to have a really successful launch for 3107.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Mark. Mike, do you want to talk about some of those clinical aspects and, you know, the need that the patients and the physicians are highlighting?

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, as you heard me talk about today, I mean the latest data that was published by Simon Best from Johns Hopkins around the — the ability to cause permanent vocal cord damage is really in the mind of all the sort of RRP surgeons we’ve spoken to. They — they recognize that, you know, while surgery is hugely beneficial for the — for the patients, you know, they — they understand that, sooner or later, there is going to be damage caused. And so, from a surgical perspective, as Mark said, you know, they — they really would — they’re just as excited as the patients I think for, you know, looking for a non-surgical treatment for these — these patients. And, you know, I keep, you know, going back to sort of having discussions with — with Kim McClellan.

You know, it really is — you know, every surgery just impacts a patient’s life. And so, you know, you saw on — on the graph I showed earlier the — the tremendous impact we have had on reducing surgical burden in the RRP population. And so, once again, I really feel, you know, you — you see that clinical efficacy and you associate it with the safety data we have accomplished — you know, accumulated on 3107 to date, there really isn’t any — any reason that we’ve — we’ve heard from the patients of why they — they wouldn’t want a non-surgical option. So, we’re — we’re very excited to — to move this program forward.

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

Hey, Mike, can I — can I add one other point real quick? One other sort of really important dimension of the patient component of this market is that, unlike in other rare diseases, and when I was at Genzyme, this was the case, you spend a lot of effort identifying patients, right, and getting them to originate for — for therapy. I mean, that won’t be the case with RRP. I mean, these are patients who — who originate for — for treatment. And the primary — primary reason is because the — the impact on voice quality, right? So, you know, again, the combination of patients who originate for — for treatment for RRP, the fact that surgery is inadequate and burden and causes a lot of morbidity, and that physicians are looking for alternative really puts us in a good position with 3107.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think those are excellent points, Mark. So, moving on to 3112, so, I think maybe if we just take a step back here. For 3112, we saw really encouraging data, both as a monotherapy and in combination with durvalumab. And, you know, while we were disappointed that AstraZeneca decided not to move durvalumab forward in the head and neck space, we were very excited by what we saw in that study. And it really goes back to one of the strengths of the platform, our ability to generate these antigen-specific cytotoxic CD8 T cells that we know are capable of getting to the tumor, and we know, in some of our other HPV dysplasia programs, are capable of clearing HPV precancerous lesions and leading to viral clearance. So, when we — we wanted to move 3112 forward, we saw a lot of promise for 3112.

And we really conducted quite an extensive analysis looking for the right PD-1 to — to use in combination. And, Mike, maybe now’s the point where you might want to jump in and talk about some of the reasons why we’re so excited about LOQTORZI.

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

No, absolutely. I mean, conducting any clinical partnership, I mean, first of all is, is finding a partner that’s just as excited about the program as — as you are. And the fact that LOQTORZI, you know, works with a lot of the same KOLs, that will hopefully eventually prescribe 3112, you know, gives them a unique insight into seeing the value of what we see with 3112 and LOQTORZI. And so, you know, as a — as a partner, they’re — they’re great to work with.

They share the enthusiasm for the program. Having a very recent approval through nasopharyngeal carcinoma I think is — is, you know — they — they want to also see the use of LOQTORZI expand. And so, you know, so far, you know, everything — every interaction we’ve had with Coherus has been, you know, very positive. They bring, you know, knowledge of the head and neck space to the table as well. And so, we’re just really, you know, very encouraged to — to continue with that partnership and — and perform the clinical trial.

Anish NikhanjRBC Capital Markets — Analyst

Thanks, guys.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Roger Song with Jefferies. Please go ahead.

Unknown speaker

Hey, good afternoon. This is Leon Chung for Roger. Thank you for taking our questions. So, I guess for us, we — so, regarding to the confirmatory study of 3107, could you comment on how, you know, thinking about turnover care practices among the different sites, how do you see that impact study results, and how — you know, at this point, what — what — what’s the powering assumptions that you’re thinking about for the confirmatory study? Thank you.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, Mike, can you take that one?

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Roger. So, you know, we — we can’t yet obviously talk about the — the sample-size elements. I can certainly address the clinical trial site elements.

I mean, we — in our phase 1/2 study, we actually had eight recruiting sites. And, you know, the — the results, while we — we only had 32 subjects in the — in the phase 1/2 study, we didn’t — we did an analysis that was certainly no site-to-site variation. So, we believe the results will be very consistent as we look to utilize more sites in our confirmatory study. So, that — that — that is certainly not a concern for us. And obviously, as we look to sites using the — iPSP device, we’ve had a lot of experience from our previous phase 3 program with 3100.

So, again, you know, that isn’t of any concern to us.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Mike, maybe I can add — add in here, you know. In addition to working with eight sites, we also enroll patients across the disease spectrum, and we also enroll patients with both HPV 6 and HPV 11. So, I think, you know, in our phase 1/2 study, we — we built up a good understanding of that variability within that patient population.

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Absolutely.

Unknown speaker

Thank you. Maybe another question if I may. So, regarding the 3107 phase 1/2 data, you know, I know one key difference from the precision studies that you included the subjects right after, you know, including through the treatment window. So, maybe could you remind us what do you see if you do not, you know, only include surgeries after the — after the treatment window?

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, that’s a — that’s a great question. I mean, we designed this trial because every surgery matters to the patients. You know, that’s what we’ve heard time after time from the patients, every surgery matters. Mike, do you want to talk about the data because I’m not sure if we’ve disclosed that yet if it’s published.

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

No, we — we haven’t provided any — any details of that. And I think, also, if we were going to do a — a like-to-like comparison, we’d obviously want to include a full 52 weeks after excluding any surgeries from the surgical window. So, I mean, we will be looking at collecting that — that data so — but that — that’s not going to be available in the short term.

Unknown speaker

Got it. Thank you. That’s it from us.

Operator

[Operator instructions] Your next question comes from the line of Yi Chen with H.C. Wainwright. Please go ahead.

Yi ChenH.C. Wainwright and Company — Analyst

Thank you for taking my questions. Could you comment on the typical age range of the RRP patients? What percentage of patient population actually are on Medicare? And how much time do you think it would take to secure Medicare reimbursement following the potential FDA approval in 2025? Thank you.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, great question. So, Mike, do you want to talk about the age range? And then, Mark, maybe you can take the Medicare question?

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Yeah, absolutely. So, RRP involves all age — age groups, and there’s actually sort of three peaks to the instance. So, the first one is the pediatric peak, which usually is around the sort of five to seven-year-old mark. Then there is a earlier-adult peak which obviously follows sexual activity onset, and that’s usually around the age of 35.

And now, what is also developed is a later-onset peak which is usually around the age of 65. So, it really encompasses all age groups. But the vast majority is still — actually, not the vast majority. The majority is still around the 35 age group with the elderly population growing rapidly.

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

Hi, it’s — it’s Mark. Thanks for the — thanks for the question. It’s a really good question. I think what I’ve said earlier in my comments is that sort of focus in precision is, you know, going to be key for our success.

And consistent with that, particularly as it pertains to kind of what the mix is for these patients, private versus — versus Medicare or Medicaid, we’re going to get a lot of additional information there from this work that I mentioned earlier. Not only are we going to be assessing sort of the physician landscape, but the analysis all starts from the patient level, and we’ll be able to sort of identify where claims are being adjudicated, whether it’s been adjudicated in the private sector or in the — in — in Medicare or Medicaid. And that really kind of help us, you know, focus our efforts on both the commercial payers that are important, but also to help us understand, you know, what our approach needs to be from the perspective of Medicare and Medicaid. You know, there are really kind of three pillars that we’re focusing on for — for commercial launch: distribution, and then the market access piece, as well as field deployment.

So, we’re moving as fast as we can. I can’t give you, you know, specific timeline for — for when, only to say that we’ve started early with the objective of making sure that patients, both private and in Medicare and Medicaid, have access to INO-3107 as quickly as possible.

Yi ChenH.C. Wainwright and Company — Analyst

Thank you. Could you comment on the regulatory pathway going forward in the European Union?

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Mike?

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Yeah. So, we have obviously engaged with the European Union. We have not yet disclosed what the strategy is going to be with — with Europe. I certainly believe there’s a — a pathway forward based on the information we have received, and I think we’ll be able to give more details in upcoming calls.

Yi ChenH.C. Wainwright and Company — Analyst

OK, thank you.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. If I can just add to Mike’s answer, though, you know, there’s a — RRP, unfortunately, like HPV, is — is everywhere. There is a strong unmet medical need as well in Europe that the standard of care may differ slightly from — from the U.S. So, that’s also an important consideration to take into account.

But we’ll certainly be trying to provide some more details on that as — as our discussions with the European regulators progress.

Yi ChenH.C. Wainwright and Company — Analyst

OK, thank you.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, there are no further questions at this time. I will now turn the call back over to Jackie Shea, president and CEO, for closing remarks. Please go ahead.

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. I opened this call by highlighting the transformation Inovio has undergone over the last year, a transformation made possible by our renewed strategic focus on the strengths of our DNA medicine platform and our aim to become a commercial-stage company. We have made more than just progress; we have built a foundation for long-term success that we will continue to build on, and we have advanced DNA medicine for patients around the world that could potentially benefit from its promise. I look forward to sharing more updates on progress with you in the year ahead. With that, thank you again for your attention, and have a great evening, everyone.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 0 minutes

Call participants:

Thomas HongInvestor Relations Manager

Jackie SheaPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Michael SumnerChief Medical Officer

Mark TwymanChief Commercial Officer

Peter KiesChief Financial Officer

Hartaj SinghOppenheimer and Company — Analyst

Roy BuchananJMP Securities — Analyst

Anish NikhanjRBC Capital Markets — Analyst

Unknown speaker

Yi ChenH.C. Wainwright and Company — Analyst

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