Vaxart Announces Initiation of Coronavirus Vaccine Program
- Category: Vaccines
- Published on Sunday, 02 February 2020 10:29
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Oral Vaccines based on Proprietary VAAST™ Platform Offer Potential Key Advantages in Global Quest to Develop Coronavirus Vaccine
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA I January 31, 2020 I Vaxart, Inc. (NasdaqGS: VXRT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing oral recombinant vaccines administered by tablet rather than by injection, announced today that it has initiated a program to develop a coronavirus vaccine candidate based on its proprietary oral vaccine platform, VAAST.
“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,” said Sean Tucker, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of 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.”
Under the program, Vaxart plans to generate vaccine candidates based on the published genome of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and evaluate them in preclinical models for their ability to generate both mucosal and systemic immune responses. Of particular interest will be the mucosal immune responses, as coronavirus is primarily an infection of the respiratory tract.
To date, Vaxart has conducted multiple clinical trials with vaccines based on its VAAST platform, demonstrating its oral tablet vaccines consistently generate robust mucosal responses in humans. In addition, Vaxart’s vaccines have demonstrated efficacy in humans for H1 influenza, and in pre-clinical models for chikungunya, aerosolized Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
“We believe our oral tablet vaccines provide substantial potential advantages, especially when targeting mucosal pathogens such as flu, norovirus, RSV and the recently emerged coronavirus,” said Wouter Latour, MBA, MD. “In addition, the logistical advantages of an oral vaccine that is administered using a convenient room temperature-stable tablet could be of critical benefit when rolling out a major public health vaccination campaign.”
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.
Vaxart is a clinical-stage biotechnology company 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 norovirus, seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV). For more information, please visit www.vaxart.com.