Vaxart, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing oral recombinant vaccines that are administered by tablet rather than by injection, announced that it has obtained positive pre-clinical results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidates, with several of the vaccine candidates generating immune responses in all tested animals after a single dose.
“These pre-clinical results confirm that all constructs are immunogenic as measured by IgG antibodies in serum, and we observed a robust boosting effect after the second dose.” said Sean Tucker, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Vaxart. “This latest data set will help to select the lead candidate for manufacturing, and we remain on track to start a first phase 1 study in the second half of this year.”
In January 2020, Vaxart initiated a program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine based on its VAASTTM oral vaccines platform. The Company is currently evaluating multiple vaccine candidates in its preclinical models. In this second round of preclinical testing, all animals received two doses of the Vaxart vaccines, two weeks apart. Antibody responses in all vaccinated groups were statistically significant compared to the untreated controls. Vaxart plans to select one or more vaccine candidates for cGMP manufacturing and clinical testing based on the magnitude and the breadth of the immune response.
“Our oral vaccines have been shown to protect against respiratory infection based on mucosal immunity, the first line of defense for such infections, as recently published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases,” said Wouter Latour, MD, chief executive officer of Vaxart Inc. “This could be important for an effective vaccine that protects the global population from COVID-19. In addition, the Vaxart vaccine would be administered orally using a room temperature-stable tablet, an enormous logistical advantage over injectables in large vaccination campaigns.”
Vaxart is a clinical-stage biotechnology company primarily focused on developing oral recombinant protein vaccines based on its proprietary oral vaccine platform. Vaxart’s vaccines are designed to generate broad and durable immune responses that protect against a wide range of infectious diseases and may also be useful for the treatment of chronic viral infections and cancer. Vaxart’s vaccines are administered using a convenient room temperature-stable tablet, rather than by injection. Vaxart believes that tablet vaccines are easier to distribute and administer than injectable vaccines and have the potential to significantly increase vaccination rates. Vaxart’s development programs include oral tablet vaccines that are designed to protect against coronavirus, norovirus, seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (“RSV”), as well as a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (“HPV”)