Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) is gearing up for a potential roll-out of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
The clinical-stage biotechnology company is expanding its partnership with Kindred Biosciences (NASDAQ:KIN) to manufacture its oral vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus. Under the terms of the deal, Kindred's plants will produce bioreactors for Vaxart's clinical trials.
"We are very pleased to have secured commercial-scale bulk manufacturing with KindredBio, which has state-of-the-art capabilities in viral vector manufacturing," Vaxart CEO Andrei Floroiu said in a press release. "This is an essential next step in advancing our oral tablet vaccine candidate for COVID-19, which we believe could accelerate mass vaccination campaigns globally."
Vaxart's vaccine is administered by tablet rather than the more common method of injection. That could make it easier to store and ship. An oral vaccine might also provide a more pleasant patient experience.
Investors are excited about the vaccine's potential. Vaxart's shares are up a staggering 1,890% so far in 2020.
Still, it should be noted that Vaxart's phase 1 study began in September, and its clinical trial remains in its early stages. Vaxart's vaccine has not yet been proven to be both safe and effective, and it faces formidable competition from more than 100 other vaccine makers.
Thus, Vaxart's stock remains a high-risk investment, albeit one with tremendous upside potential if its vaccine development efforts are successful.