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Why Vaxart Stock Surged Today

By Joe Tenebruso – Aug 2, 2021 at 2:41PM

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The vaccine maker has a promising new construct for its experimental COVID-19 tablet.

What happened 

Shares of Vaxart (Nasdaq: VXRT) rose on Monday after the biotech said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its oral coronavirus vaccine. As of 2:20 p.m. EDT, Vaxart's stock price was up more than 12%.

So what

Vaxart's S-only vaccine construct produced higher serum antibodies than its other vaccine candidate, which expresses both S and N proteins, in a non-human primate study. Vaxart plans to begin a phase II clinical trial for its S-only vaccine later this year.

A person is pointing to an upwardly sloping line that's above a downwardly sloping line.

Investors bid up Vaxart's shares on Monday. Image source: Getty Images.

"This new clinical trial will allow us to compare the S-only and S+N vaccine candidates and put us in a position to decide which approach offers the best way forward for our COVID-19 vaccine development program, particularly in the face of emerging variant strains," Vaxart's chief scientific officer Dr. Sean Tucker said in a press release.

Now what 

If Vaxart's new vaccine construct can produce a stronger antibody response in human patients than its other oral vaccine did in prior studies, it could become a more legitimate competitor to the COVID-19 drugs developed by Pfizer and Moderna. As a tablet, Vaxart's oral vaccine would be easier to store, transfer, and administer. If Vaxart can demonstrate a comparable efficacy and safety profile to the leading vaccines currently on the market, there would likely be tremendous demand for its new drug.

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Vaxart, Inc Stock Quote
Vaxart, Inc
VXRT
$1.08 (-7.69%) $0.09

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