Coronavirus stock Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) did well on Monday, following the company's latest piece of news regarding its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The company announced that it filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the candidate.
An IND application is chiefly a request for permission to begin testing a treatment or vaccine on human subjects. Out of an original five it was developing, Vaxart's vaccine candidate is the one the company has chosen for further development. It is unique among current vaccine candidates in that it is the only one that can be taken orally.
Vaxart says this gives it an edge, as oral vaccines are comparatively easier to administer, among other advantages.https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/oral-drug-administration#:~:text=The%20oral%20administration%20route%20is,et%20al.%2C%202000).
In its press release announcing the IND application, the company said it expects the vaccine candidate to perform very well in clinical testing. It quoted its CEO Andrei Floroiu as saying, "[W]e expect our upcoming Phase I study to generate data that will further differentiate our oral vaccine from injectable vaccines by substantiating the importance of activating both systemic and mucosal immunity in protecting against COVID-19."
Vaxart is one of a fairly large clutch of biotech and pharmaceutical companies around the world working to devise a vaccine. No candidate has yet to complete a full set of clinical trials and win approval for use by a major regulator.
The world remains hopeful for an efficacious vaccine, so Vaxart's news was greeted warmly by investors. The company's stock rose by 2.2% on Monday, well outpacing the gains of the broader equity market.