Focusing on Pharma: Inovio COVID-19 Sentiment Analysis

candrakfeng
Apr 30, 2020 · 6 min read

Written by: Candra Feng

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in many ways. It has caused all of us across the world to alter our timelines, lifestyles, and perspectives. Much of our hope for returning to some kind of normalcy is now placed in finding a vaccine as soon as possible. With this in mind, this post will focus on exploring how COVID-19 has affected sentiment toward the pharmaceutical industry by honing in on Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a leader in the race to find a vaccine.

Image for post
Image for post

Background

Main companies at the forefront of this current vaccine race include Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, and Inovio. Leaders in producing therapies for COVID-19 symptoms include Gilead Sciences, Regeneron & Sanofi, and Eli Lilly (CNBC).

After much research, I found it exciting that The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is backing many pharmaceutical companies to help in this race (Inovio). I decided to focus my sentiment analysis on Inovio Pharmaceuticals because this is one of the companies The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting and Inovio’s vaccine candidate seems promising. (Note: According to Inovio’s news release on 4/28/2020, Inovio’s COVID-19 DNA vaccine INO-4800 is currently in Phase 1/2a.)

About INOVIO Pharmaceuticals

“Inovio is a biotechnology company focused on rapidly bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines to treat, cure, and protect people from diseases associated with HPV, cancer, and infectious diseases…Also in development are…externally funded vaccine development programs in Zika, MERS, Lassa, HIV, and COVID-19.”

Some of their partners and collaborators to highlight are The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), University of Pennsylvania, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and The Wistar Institute.

On 3/3/2020, Inovio had a press release sharing an accelerated timeline for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800. This release placed Inovio as a forerunner in the vaccine race, led to a jump in the company’s stock price, and increased Google searches for “Inovio” (Yahoo Finance, Google Trends).

Image for post
Image for post
Yahoo Finance shows that he peak for Inovio Pharmaceutical’s stock price in the middle of the image takes place on 3/6/2020 — three days after Inovio’s press release regarding the accelerated timeline for INO-4800.
Image for post
Image for post
According to Google Trends, “Inovio” was most searched on Google on 3/9/2020, a few days after the press release on 3/3/2020.

Sentiment Analysis

Here are pie charts showing what I found:

Pre-COVID Pie Charts of Sentiment Analysis

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Post-COVID Pie Charts of Sentiment Analysis

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Here are bar charts showing what I found:

Pre-COVID Bar Charts of Sentiment Analysis

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Post-COVID Bar Charts of Sentiment Analysis

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Conclusion

As Fortune points to in the article Big Pharma has the chance to come to the world’s rescue, the COVID-19 pandemic may offer the pharmaceutical industry a chance to finally “show off its power to innovate.” I am eager to follow the progress of Inovio’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800 and progress across the larger pharmaceutical field to fight against this virus together. For such a time is this!

About the Author

Sources

AJMC: The Dark Side of the Pharmaceutical Industry

CNBC: The stock market is rising on hope for a pharma solution to coronavirus — here’s how close we are

Yahoo News: Bill Gates, Backer of Inovio And Six Others, Says Coronavirus Vaccine Could Be Mass Produced Within A Year

Gatesnotes: The first modern pandemic

Inovio News Releases

Google Trends

Yahoo Finance

Youtube 6/18/2014: How Inovio’s DNA Vaccines are Delivered

Youtube 6/9/2017: Inovio Pharmaceuticals CEO: Healthy Future? | Mad Money | CNBC

Youtube 6/18/2018: Inovio CEO on North Korea’s business outlook: It’s a blank canvas

Youtube 1/24/2020: BREAKING: CEPI (funded by Gates) Grants INOVIO $9M To Develop Vaccine Against Coronavirus nCoV-2019

Youtube 3/3/2020: Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ; INO)

Youtube 4/23/2020: Inovio Pharmaceuticals CEO on virus vaccine human trials, completing volunteer enrollment in April

Sentiment Analysis on YouTube data using R

Youtube Data API v3

RStudio

Google Cloud Platform Console

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store