Vaxart, Inc. (VXRT) stock prices were up a staggering 37.46% as of market close on April 27th, 2021, bringing the price per share up to USD$8.33.
Novel COVID-19 Tablet
With the world hurtling towards COVID-19 solutions for the pandemic, VXRT is setting itself apart from its competitors with a drug, VXA-CoV2-1, that comes in tablet form rather than via injections. This circumvents the issue of the transportation of typical covid injections being a costly endeavor. Furthermore, it could facilitate the acceleration of universal immunizations because the administration of a tablet does not require specialized healthcare professionals in the way injections do.
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Competitive Advantage of VXA-CoV2-1
Another massive differentiator of VXRT’s VXA-CoV2-1 is that it has the potential to be effective against the various strains of the COVID-19 virus that are emerging and are proving to be resistant to typical injection-based vaccinations. With the drug targeting nucleoprotein (N) as well as spike proteins (S), a significant T-cell response has been observed as a target of the N protein. This is significant because a potent T-cell response has the potential to offer protection against even more severe covid symptoms.
So far, the drug has met its primary endpoint as well as all of its secondary endpoints in the first phase of its trial. VXRT has been collaborating with Kindred Biosciences for the manufacturing of various COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including VXA-CoV2-1. Under a recently expanded agreement, the plant located in California will see the scaling of clinical trial material into mid-size bioreactors. The agreement will also see the single-use bioreactors in the Kansas plant being used for manufacturing at a 2000L scale.
Agreement with Attwill
An agreement has also been entered with Attwill Vascular Technologies that will facilitate the processing and lyophilizing of specific compounds, as well as the tableting of the lyophilized compounds for use in VXA-CoV2-1. To capitalize on recent developments, the company has increased its workforce to 49 full-time employees, with hiring have been primarily conducted in R&D, clinical, regulatory manufacturing, and financial areas.
Promising Liquidity Position
December 31st, 2020 saw the company report cash and cash equivalents of USD$126.9 million, a monumental increase from the USD$13.5 million reported as of December 31st 2019. The healthy liquidity position is attributable to the USD$97 million netted from the company’s USD$100 million at-the-market facility from June 2020; the exercising of warrants, which netted VXRT USD$26 million; USD$9.2 having been raised from a registered direct offering in March 2020; and USD$4.9 million from VXRT’s USD$250 million at-the-market facility from October 2020.
Future Outlook for VXRT
The success of Phase 1 of VXA-CoV2-1’s clinical trial has boosted investor confidence, who continue to back the company as it gears up for Phase 2. With such promising results, partnerships to facilitate the hopeful commercial production of the drug, and a solid liquidity position, the company is poised to leverage its resources to come out ahead in the COVID-19 vaccine race. Both current and prospective shareholders are hopeful for the future of the company, as evidence by recent surges in VXRT stock prices.