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Vaxart Rallies On Double Dose Of Positive Coronavirus Vaccine Developments

Vaxart Rallies On Double Dose Of Positive Coronavirus Vaccine Developments

Shares of oral vaccine maker Vaxart Inc (NASDAQ: VXRT) are on a strong two-day run after two announcements tied to coronavirus vaccine development. 

What Happened: The South San Francisco, California-based company said its oral COVID-19 vaccine has been selected to participate in a non-human primate challenge study, or animal study, organized and funded by Operation Warp Speed.

The study is designed to demonstrate the efficacy of the vaccine candidate, according to Vaxart. 

"We are very pleased to be one of the few companies selected by Operation Warp Speed, and that ours is the only oral vaccine being evaluated," CEO Andrei Floroiu said in a statement. 

On Thursday, Vaxart said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Attwill Medical Solutions Sterilflow that will enable the latter to provide lyophilization development and large-scale manufacturing, including tableting and enteric coating, for Vaxart's COVID-19 vaccine.

Once a formal agreement is signed, Attwill plans to assign dedicated resources and equipment for the purpose, Vaxart said.

Why It Matters: Vaxart shortlisted its lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate in late May.

The company's vaccine candidate is a room temperature-stable tablet, conferring an enormous logistical advantage in large vaccination campaigns.

The selection of the vaccine under Operation Warp Speed is expected to pave the way for federal funding for the project and serve as validation for Vaxart's vaccine program.

The company has contracted with both Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE: EBS) and Kindred Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: KIN) to produce vaccines in bulk under cGMP.

It recently appointed biopharma and vaccine industry veteran Floroiu as CEO to provide a shot in the arm for the COVID-19 vaccine program.

The proposed pact with Attwill is another step in expediting Vaxart's vaccine program.

"We believe AMS' experience coupled with its ability to manufacture a billion or more doses per year would be a beneficial addition to our group of CDMO partners and enable the large scale manufacturing and ultimate supply of our COVID-19 vaccine for the US, Europe and other countries in need," said Floroiu.

VXRT Price Action: After soaring 96.24% to $6.26 Thursday, Vaxart shares were trading 73.32% higher to $10.85 premarket Friday.

Related Links:

These 6 Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates Are The Likeliest To Succeed, Says Morgan Stanley

Revisiting The Coronavirus Vaccine Race: Updates On The 10 Candidates In Clinics


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