What happened

Shares of Icosavax (ICVX) were up more than 23% late Tuesday morning after being up as much as 36% earlier in the day. The biotech company, which uses a virus-like particle (VLP) platform to make vaccines to fight infectious diseases, announced positive early trial data regarding a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) vaccine for older adults.

The stock is up more than 23% so far this year.

So what

Icosavax said that top-line results from its phase 1 trial for pan-virus vaccine IVX-A12 showed that it induced strong immune responses from older adults through 28 days after the vaccine was administered. The trial involved 140 healthy adults ages 60 to 75 years. Icosavax said its next step for the therapy is a phase 2 immunogenicity trial midway through this year, followed by an hMPV human challenge clinical trial.

On the back of the positive news, the company is planning a $67.8 million stock sale. With the stock sale plus the $219.4 million it already had in cash at the end of the first quarter, Icosavax said it has enough cash to fund operations into the second half of 2025. 

Now what

In the first quarter, the company had no revenue and lost $24.5 million. The positive news regarding its lead therapy will help Icosavax get more financing if it needs it. Its pipeline also includes programs in influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Therefore, while the clinical-stage biotech is a risk for investors, the target group for its vaccines is large.