Vaxart, Inc. ($VXRT) continues to attract attention thanks to its oral covid-19 vaccine candidate called VXA-CoV2-1, which lately is paying off in green numbers again. As an FDA-approved corona vaccine approaches, attention is increasingly shifting to the logistics issue, where the transportation of non-oral vaccine candidates faces serious difficulties.
An approved vaccine is just the beginning
An imminent problem seems to arise around the international transport of the vaccines of large pharmaceutical companies, because extremely cold temperatures are necessary for dry ice. In addition, the cooling systems are very expensive and moreover, not easy to obtain in various continents and regions. Add the number of vaccinations required to combat Covid-19 worldwide and compare that with the number of vaccinations that the large pharmaceutical companies can jointly produce annually. Those who thought only an approved vaccine was necessary to save the world may have thought a little too easily about the issues surrounding the pandemic.
It is therefore not surprising that Vaxart’s alternative method has received a lot of attention since the announcement of the VXA-CoV2-1. The vaccine has very unique and favorable characteristics compared to the large pharmaceutical companies. For example, it has now been confirmed that no cold storage or specialized equipment is required for oral administration, which makes distribution relatively easier worldwide. These logistical advantages had not previously surfaced to such an extent in the vaccine race, but are now beginning to receive increasing attention.
Vaxart is not going completely free
The counterpoint to Vaxart’s vaccine candidate is that it has been delayed from vaccine candidates who have already demonstrated efficacy of at least 90%. The fact that it is also experiencing problems about earlier statements about the Operation Warp Speed program does not naturally contribute to the possible malaise, if this gets a tail end.
Nevertheless, the company can count on proponents who feel uncomfortable with a possible vaccination. This not only offers logistical but also commercial benefits. And given that billions of doses of vaccines are needed to put the pandemic under control, even with an approval in 2021, there will still be enough demand that Vaxart could answer with its oral vaccine. To do so, it must now increase its credibility.
With highs and lows back to $7 per share?
The numbers in the pharmaceutical industry have exploded over the past year, something that most companies participating in the vaccine race have benefited from. Shares were up 19.14% in the last four weeks and exploded by 136.04% in the last 6 months. Anyone who takes in the past trading year will see a sensational 1924.27% increase. At the same time, the stock is also more than 50% lower than the record high it had previously. Since its inception, Vaxart has lost a modest $135 million and currently has $133.4 million in cash and equivalents. For a company with a market cap of $622 million, it looks like Vaxart deserves quite a bit more appreciation, especially given the potential it has once the vaccine candidate is launched.
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