Vaxart's Soars YTD on Robust Coronavirus Vaccine Progress
The company has been in the spotlight this year following its efforts to develop an oral vaccine against the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Last month, Vaxart’s oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate was selected for investigation in a non-human primate (NHP) challenge study. The new study will be organized and funded by Operation Warp Speed (OWS), which is a new national program, to provide substantial quantities of safe, effective vaccine for Americans by January 2021.
Following this development, the company’s candidate became the first oral COVID-19 vaccine, which will be tested by OWS in non-human primates. The study is designed to demonstrate the efficacy of the oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
In April this year, the company announced favorable data from pre-clinical studies on its oral vaccine candidates against SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Several vaccine candidates were able to generate immune responses after a single dose in all the animals under the studies was tested.
Following the positive data, in May, Vaxart selected its lead oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate from multiple vaccine candidates, which were evaluated in its preclinical studies. The company plans to start a phase I study on the oral tablet vaccine candidate in the second half of this year. Notably, the candidate was developed leveraging the company’s proprietary oral vaccine platform, VAAST.
Meanwhile, Vaxart signed a contract with Emergent BioSolutions EBS and Kindred Biosciences, to produce bulk vaccine under cGMP for its clinical studies. The vaccine tablets will be manufactured at Vaxart.
We note that Vaxart’s portfolio is currently devoid of any approved product. As a result, it is yet to generate any revenues from product sales. If the company is able to successfully develop and commercialize the oral COVID-19 vaccine, it will be a huge boost to its stock in the days ahead. However, competition remains stiff as small biotechs, namely Moderna MRNA, Novavax NVAX and some big pharma companies as well are actively engaged in developing a vaccine to fight the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
VAXART, INC. Price
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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