Shares of clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding (TNXP 4.74%) are rising sharply on Wednesday following the company's release of data from a study for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine TNX-1800. Tonix Pharmaceuticals' stock was up by 17.3% as of 2:07 p.m. EDT today, after jumping by as much as 25.2% earlier in the day.
The study in question pitted TNX-1800 against a control vaccine called TNX-801 in nonhuman primates divided into five groups of four: Two groups received the TNX-1800 at two different doses, two more groups received TNX-801 at two doses, and the last group received a placebo.
Then, 41 days after vaccination, each group was exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 through intratracheal and intranasal administration. Six days later (at day 47 after vaccination), none of the eight animals vaccinated with TNX-1800 (at either dose) showed infection with the virus.
On day 14 after vaccination, the animals in the two TNX-1800 groups had produced neutralizing antibodies for the virus. All of the animals who received either dose of TNX-801 or the placebo showed infection with the virus, and none of them produced antibodies. Thanks to these positive results, Tonix Pharmaceuticals is planning to start a phase 1 human study during the second half of the year, provided the company's Investigational New Drug Application receives regulatory clearance.
Several vaccines have already earned Emergency Use Authorization, with at least a couple more likely to do so before Tonix Pharmaceuticals has a chance to launch its version. But the healthcare company argues that its candidate offers several advantages over many competing vaccines, including the fact that it requires only a single dose and presents fewer logistical challenges than the current market leaders. In the company's view, these factors justify advancing TNX-1800 to human clinical trials.