Vaxart (VXRT) shot to prominence in the early days of the pandemic, as one of the small vaccine makers taking the fight to Covid-19. But that was a while ago now and since then, the company has not been able to get its differentiated offering – its Covid vaccine is in pill form – across the finish line. That’s not to say, the program isn’t making any progress.
A US-based Phase 2a study for its Covid-19 vaccine is currently underway, and immunogenicity data should see the light of day in 1H22.
Additionally, global Phase Ib and Phase 2 Covid-19 trials, including an India-based placebo-controlled efficacy trial, are slated to kick off this year.
And importantly, notes B. Riley’s Mayank Mamtani, in February, the company pointed to a “preprint” of a preclinical study assessing the vaccine in non-human primates (NHPs).
The vaccine was being tested to see how effective it would be in producing antibodies against known Covid-19 strains (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta).
Highlighted by its ability to produce a 1000-fold uptick in nasal mucosa IgA antibodies, the candidate displayed cross-reactivity against the variants tested. “A positive translation into clinical study, i.e. higher IgA response in participants along with T cell response and IgG titers could be highly informative to Street’s relatively cautious view on next-gen COVID vaccines,” Mamtani opined.
The covid opportunity aside, there’s also a “milestone-rich” 2022 in the development of its norovirus vaccine. Data readouts for the Phase 1b study are expected in Q1 and Q2, while enrolment has been completed for another G1.1 vaccine study to discover the optimal booster administration time, with a data readout anticipated in the year’s second half. A Phase 2 GI.1 norovirus challenge study is also set to begin this year, with a data report likely in 1Q23.
For now, however, awaiting “platform validation,” Mamtani remains Neutral-rated, and lowers the price target from $9 to $7. However, Mamtani might as well have said Buy, as there’s upside of 60% from current levels. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)
Two other analysts have reviewed Vaxart’s prospects recently and they take the bullish route, the 2 additional Buys providing this stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. Shares are anticipated to climb 113% higher in the year ahead, given the average price target currently stands at $9.5. (See Vaxart stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.