Positive Pre-clinical Data for Oral COVID-19 Vaccine Program
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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.”