Vaxart Cleared for Phase 1 Trial of Oral Virus Vaccine Candidate

Drugmaker Vaxart was cleared by the FDA to begin Phase 1 trials of an oral coronavirus-vaccine candidate.
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Shares of Vaxart  (VXRT) - Get Report on Monday surged after the drugmaker was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to begin Phase 1 human trials for an oral coronavirus-vaccine candidate.

"Our oral tablet vaccine offers a much more attractive mode of administration than injectables and may confer superior protection against covid-19 due to activation of mucosal immunity," the South San Francisco company's chief executive, Adrei Floroiu, said in a statement. 

The company plans to start recruiting patients for human trials starting this month. 

The benefits from an oral treatment include easier and cheaper storage and distribution as the tablets do not require the costly and complex refrigeration that injectable vaccines require. 

The Phase 1 study will be conducted on healthy adults ages 18 to 55 with a primary objective of examining the safety and reactogenicity - the ability to produce an immunological response - of two doses of the vaccine. 

The company has ongoing tests involving hamsters injected with SARS-CoV-2 and intends to use that data to inform its human studies. 

Results from that study, which began in August, are expected in mid-October. 

Global equities got a boost Monday after AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Report said that it was resuming the British clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, which is one of the most advanced candidates available. 

Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report shares also gained after the New York healthcare giant said it expanded its Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trials to about 44,000 participants. 

Vaxart shares at last check jumped 20% to $6.39. Pfizer shares added 2.3% to $36.91. And AstraZeneca American depositary receipts rose 1% to $54.26.