Coronavirus Vaccine Efforts Key to Vaxart (VXRT) Q2 Earnings
Vaxart, Inc. VXRT is developing several vaccine candidates against different types of viruses. The company has also been actively involved in developing a vaccine against COVID-19 among others.
Investors will be keen to know about the progress of its coronavirus vaccine candidate when Vaxart reports second-quarter 2020 results.
The company has been developing an oral vaccine using its proprietary VAAST oral vaccines platform. In June, the vaccine became part of the Operation Warp Speed (“OWS”), an initiative by the U.S. federal government to provide substantial quantities of safe, effective vaccine for Americans by January 2021.
Vaxart’s share price has surged a whopping 2539.1% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 6.5%.
The company initiated its coronavirus program in January and announced positive pre-clinical data in April from five under-development COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Data showed that antibody responses were observed in all subjects following two weeks after the first vaccination and responses in all vaccinated groups were statistically significant compared to the untreated controls. After the second dose of the vaccine candidate was administered, there was a robust increase in antibody responses. Based on pre-clinical results, the company selected a candidate that is expected to have broadest immune response in humans for clinical-stage development in May. The company expects to start a phase I study on this selected candidate this year
Pre-clinical development activities and preparation for the phase I clinical study related to the coronavirus vaccine are likely to have driven operating expense higher in the second quarter.
The company signed agreement with three companies — Emergent BioSolutions EBS, Kindred Biosciences and Attwill Medical Solutions Sterilflow — for large-scale manufacturing of vaccine candidate to support its clinical development plans for coronavirus vaccine and commercialization following a potential approval.
Vaxart may receive funding under OWS to develop its oral candidate. However, the company doesn’t seem to have significant resources to support the clinical development of the vaccine on its own. Investors will likely ask questions on funding arrangements to support continued development of its pipeline candidate on second quarter earnings call. We also expect the company to discuss the progress of its coronavirus vaccine candidate on the call.
Apart from coronavirus, the company has been developing vaccines against norovirus and influenza. It has a collaboration with J&J JNJ to develop an influenza vaccine. The company may discuss their progress on its earnings call. The company’s revenues for the second quarter are likely to have been driven by royalties on sales of Glaxo’s GSK antiviral treatment of influenza, Inavir. However, sales of the drug varies significantly from quarter to quarter.
VAXART, INC. Price and Consensus
Vaxart currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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