Vaxart‘s (NASDAQ: VXRT) stocks plunged 58% in one trading session after a point in a clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate disappointed investors. In this Motley Fool Live video registered on February 26, 2021, Corinne Cardina, Head of Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau, and Adria Cimino, Fool.com Contributor, discuss the negatives and positives of the trial report – and what they mean for the future of the program vaccine against the Vaxart coronavirus.
Corinne Cardine: Let’s talk a bit about some stocks of COVID vaccines that are a bit earlier. You could call them longer shots. If you are optimistic you might call them a dark horse. The first one I want to talk about is Vaxart. This title was one of the biggest drivers of the vaccine industry in 2020. The title gained over a thousand percent as investors watched its immunization program move from preclinical to phase 1. But earlier this this month, the company reported this phase. 1 data and the stock was down 58% in one trading session. So a good lesson in these early stage biotech stocks and the risk involved. But there is one part of the report that really disappointed investors. Could you tell us a bit about what happened and where Vaxart plans to go from here?
Adria Cimino: Sure. Well, Vaxart is an oral vaccine. It is therefore taken in the form of tablets. Basically, it didn’t produce any neutralizing antibodies. And that was the key element. Neutralizing antibodies block infection. But the good news is that his killer T cell levels were high and that could be another big deal for these vaccines. It targets the spike protein and another protein known for viral replication. And this protein known for viral replication is less vulnerable to mutations. So it can be very good. However, we are missing the neutralizing antibody part. So it is still a very risky action at this stage. Vaxart said this week that it plans to start its Phase 2 trial and is also advancing some strain-specific candidates. It’s really one to watch out for because it’s always high risk, but it’s one to watch out for. We can keep an eye on this one and maybe have some good news.
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