All eyes are on the leading late-stage COVID-19 vaccine candidates right now. However, there are other experimental vaccines in development that could also be on the way. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 3, 2020, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and writer Keith Speights discuss two early-stage COVID vaccines that could be game-changers.

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Corinne Cardina: Are there any drug developers that may be earlier stages than some of the ones we've mentioned that are taking an approach that could be game-changing?

Keith Speights: Yeah, there are a couple that I've really watched, Corinne.

One I think you and I have spoken about before -- Vaxart (VXRT -10.29%). Vaxart has an early-stage oral tablet. The idea of having a vaccine that you just pop a pill, so to speak, instead of getting stuck with a needle, that would be quite intriguing. Very low market cap there -- below $1 billion. Again, it's early stage, but if they're successful, Vaxart could really take off.

Another one, a little plug here, a shameless plug. I'm working on an article that should publish on Saturday. It's about the dark horse to watch, and that dark horse to watch in the coronavirus vaccine race, I think, is Arcturus Therapeutics (ARCT -1.29%).

Arcuturs has an mRNA vaccine. Pfizer and Moderna have mRNA vaccines, so we've already seen that they can have a really high efficacy. But they have an mRNA single-dose vaccine that's in a phase 1/2 study.

They also hope to have a freeze-dried version of it available for phase 3 testing. You've got Arcturus with just checking off all the boxes. Single-dose, which will be wonderful, mRNA, which seems to have very high efficacy, and freeze-dried, which would address some of the ultra-cold storage requirements. Arcturus is one that I really am fascinated by. I'm going to see what happens next and see how the results look.

Corinne Cardina: Keith, do you know the ticker for Arcturus?

Keith Speights: Yeah. That's ARCT.

Corinne Cardina: Got it.

Keith Speights: Again, the best way to describe Arcturus is a dark horse. They could really come on strong if things go well.