Vaxart Inc (NASDAQ: VXRT) is having yet another strong day in the market today, following up on the gains that we saw from the stock last week. The gains seem to be triggered by work that the company is doing to combat the coronavirus epidemic. Here’s what’s going on:

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VXRT Stock Continues Skyward On Coronavirus Work

On Friday of last week, Vaxart found its way toward the top after informing investors that it initiated a program surrounding the coronavirus. Through the new program the company intends on developing a vaccine candidate for the coronavirus that will be based on its proprietary oral vaccine program known as VAAST.

As part of the program, VXRT said that it will generate vaccine candidates based on the published genome of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Once candidates are generated, the company plans on evaluating them in preclinical models for their ability to generate an immune response.

In particular, VXRT will be looking for a mucosal immune response. This is because the coronavirus is primarilly a viral infection within the respiratory tract.

In the release, the company reminded investors that it has conducted multiple clinical trials with vaccines based on its VAAST programs. In these trials, the company has been able to demonstrate that its oral tablet vaccines consistently generate a robust mucosal immune response in humans.

Moreover, the company’s vaccines have demonstrated efficacy in humans for H1 influenza, preclinical efficacy for chikungunya and signs of efficacy in aerosolized Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) as well as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

In a statement, Dr. Sean Tucker, CSO at VXRT had the following to offer:

Vaxart’s proprietary technology has been clinically proven in humans, and the ability to make an oral vaccine to meet this current public health threat is very important to all of us at Vaxart. The results of our recently published influenza challenge study demonstrated that our oral tablet vaccine primarily protects through mucosal immunity, a potential key factor when targeting mucosal pathogens such as this new coronavirus.

Why The News Is So Exciting

The truth of the matter is that biotechnology companies around the world are racing to treat and vaccinate against coronavirus as the epidemic spreads, and it’s spreading quickly.

To date, there have been about 17,000 cases of the coronavirus confirmed with many of these cases leading to death. 11 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the United States. Moreover, The New York Times reports that the coronavirus outbreak is already more deadly than the SARS outbreak in China.

With that in mind, Vaxart and all of the other companies that are digging into this virus are right to do so. Those that are the first to come up with effective vaccines and treatment options for the coronavirus are likely to be sitting on a goldmine. After all, with a medical pandemic like this, the world will be racing to vaccinate and eradicate the condition.

With VXRT being one of the first publicly traded companies that has announced work on vaccines against coronavirus, there is plenty to be excited about here!

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