Vaxart (VXRT) Begins Dosing in Oral Coronavirus Vaccine Study

Shares of Vaxart, Inc. VXRT were up 8.8% on Tuesday after the company announced that it has dosed the first subject in a phase I study, evaluating its oral tablet VXA-CoV2-1, which is a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

In fact, the stock has skyrocketed 2088.3% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 4.1%.

The early-stage dose-ranging study is evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of two doses (low or high) of the oral tablet VXA-CoV2-1 in healthy adult volunteers, aged between 18 years and 54 years. Enrollment in the same is expected to be completed by early next month. The first clinical data from the study is anticipated shortly in the coming weeks

Pre-clinical data had shown that the vaccine was able to generate both immune responses as well as a strong mucosal immune response against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Last month, the FDA cleared Vaxart’s investigational new drug (IND) application to begin the phase I study. The primary goal of the study is to investigate the safety and reactogenicity of two doses of the said vaccine. Secondary objectives include immunogenicity, duration of immune response and the occurrence of the symptomatic COVID-19.

Notably, the oral vaccine candidate is being developed leveraging the company’s proprietary oral vaccine platform VAAST.

Vaxart’s COVID-19 candidate is the only oral vaccine to be selected as part of the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program, which is a new national program to provide substantial quantities of safe, effective vaccine for the Americans by January 2021.

We note that several drugmakers are working relentlessly to develop a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus disease, which has so far infected 38.1 million people globally and killed more than a million already.

Small biotechs like Moderna MRNA, CureVac CVAC and Novavax NVAX along with large pharma companies, namely AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer among others are actively engaged in developing a vaccine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zacks Rank

Vaxart currently carries 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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