Vaxart (VXRT) is a leader in developing an oral vaccine for COVID-19 that would make it significantly easier to vaccinate the world, notes biotech sector expert John McCamant, editor of The Medical Technology Stock Letter.
Could an oral vaccine be the Holy Grail in fighting a pandemic? A pill can be stored at room temperature, no freezer/refrigeration required, given anywhere, no syringe/nurse required, provides mucosal immunity, stops virus before entering bloodstream.
The company's unique vaccine pill should garner both corporate and government partnerships around the world as the easy to manufacture, off the shelf oral vaccine addresses many of the shortcomings of 1st generation vaccines.
VXRT’s Phase II trial of VXA-CoV2-1, encoding both the S and the N proteins, is expected to start mid-year. Manufacturing of vaccines is currently underway at the company’s manufacturing partner, and their own GMP facility.
VXRT is also evaluating additional manufacturing partners both in the U.S. and abroad as we experience unprecedented global demand for both vaccine manufacturing and the raw materials.
Phase I/II studies of two S-only vaccine constructs targeting different variants are planned to begin in 3Q 2021. Boosting studies with previously vaccinated or infected subjects are also planned for 2H 2021. Trials in India and Latin America are expected to initiate in 2021.
In our view, the company's oral vaccine technology will be needed to combat COVID-19 and its variants in the coming years.
We also believe the recent rapid advancement of COVID-19 vaccines and their huge impact illustrate the potential for VXRT’s other vaccine candidates, including Noravirus and the seasonal flu all of which could be combined into one pill.
Vaxart — which has risen 24% since the start of the year — is a currently rated a "buy" under $15 with a target price of $30 per share.