The stock market has been pulled aggressively in both directions in 2021, but the moves are relatively tame compared to the wild ride of Vaxart (VXRT) stock.
Toward the end of January, shares more than doubled in less than a week due to the formidable pairing of high short interest and the hope of positive Phase 1 results for the company’s oral Covid-19 vaccine candidate VXA-CoV-1.
In the end, the stock took a 60% hammering, after Vaxart’s offering failed to deliver evidence of neutralizing antibodies in the study’s participants.
The results, however, haven’t deterred Vaxart from progressing its Covid-19 program further. In its defense, the differentiated oral vaccine caused multiple immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 antigens and the company now plans to initiate a Phase 2 study in 2Q21.
The company will move forward with a placebo-controlled trial with a prime/boost regimen, and the aim of pinpointing the best dose for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate; after which, a proof of concept Phase 2b trial should commence with the identified dose outside of the U.S., with the participation of ~900 Covid-19 naïve volunteers.
“Meanwhile,” says B. Riley analyst Mayank Mamtani, “A planned comparator study of T cell response between VXA-CoV2-1 and mRNA vaccines is expected to reaffirm the strength of cellular immune response, in our view. In addition to ongoing preclinical and clinical studies, we believe the development of VXA-CoV2-1 could likely be expedited with a human challenge study, noting U.K. has already allowed conducting such a study in young adults challenged with C-19 virus in controlled environment.”
Despite the recent travails, Mamtani remains in VXRT’s corner, reiterating a Buy rating, along with a $13 price target. The figure was reduced from $16 due to Mamtani no longer believing Vaxart will secure a EUA (emergency use authorization) for its vaccine in 2021. Nevertheless, upside from current levels is still ~88%. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)
Other Street analysts have yet to update their Vaxart models and Mamtani’s is currently the sole recent review on record. (See VXRT 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.