Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced a leadership change at the helm and the discontinuation of a Phase III COVID-19 vaccine study.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. is focused on launching the global late-stage trial of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate in September 2021, chief executive Joseph Kim said in a call, with the drug developer expecting trial data in the first half of 2022.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. said the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate was safe, well-tolerated and produced immune response against the new coronavirus in a mid-stage clinical trial, sending the drug developer’s shares up over 3 percent.

As the world awaits the production and distribution of hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization, biopharmaceutical companies and manufacturers are developing the next wave of vaccines and therapeutics to combat the pandemic.