Shares of Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) rose sharply on Tuesday, furthering the gains accrued since the biotech company filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its oral coronavirus vaccine on Aug. 10. By the close of trading, Vaxart's stock was up 14.4% after surging as much as 32.7% earlier in the day.
Vaxart filed its IND application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday morning. It's essentially a request to begin testing its experimental vaccine on people in a clinical trial. "Filing the IND is the first major step of many we are taking to advance our oral vaccine in the prevention of COVID-19," Vaxart Chief Scientific Officer Sean Tucker said in a press release.
Vaxart's vaccine candidate is unique in that it's a tablet rather than an injection. CEO Andrei Floroiu says this form offers several benefits, including being easier to store, transport, and administer to patients.
Vaxart's gains are interesting because they came on a day when many other vaccine stocks fell. Russia's announcement that it had approved the world's first coronavirus vaccine sent many COVID-19 stocks into a tailspin -- but not Vaxart.
Perhaps that's telling. It might signify the market's recognition of the potential logistical advantages of Vaxart's oral vaccine, which could set it apart from other candidates if it proves both safe and effective.