American clinical-stage biotechnology company Vaxart, Inc. has announced that the United States Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) granted the company $9.27 million for the planning of a Phase 2b clinical study. This study, involving 10,000 subjects, will assess Vaxart’s oral pill XBB COVID-19 vaccine candidate in comparison to an already approved mRNA vaccine.
Dr. Michael Finney, Vaxart’s Interim Chief Executive Officer said:
“We are very honored to receive this BARDA award, which will support the innovative approach of our oral pill vaccine platform. We believe our oral pill vaccine platform may ultimately hold the promise of revolutionizing how we fight pandemics and how we vaccinate against several infectious diseases. Our team is very excited about this contract, which allows us to prepare to move forward with our oral COVID vaccine program, together with BARDA.”
Dr. James F. Cummings, Vaxart’s Chief Medical Officer added:
“We believe we have the chance to improve on existing vaccines in two important ways. First, a thermostable pill vaccine such as Vaxart’s offers the chance to overcome needle-phobia, a documented obstacle to vaccination, and offers the potential to make it easier to vaccinate more people faster than with traditional injected vaccines. Second, our previous research on other vaccine constructs found Vaxart’s oral pill vaccine to be cross-reactive against all tested SARS-CoV-2 variants and to trigger long-lasting immune responses, potentially offering broader, longer protection than the current first-generation vaccines. We believe our vaccine does this by triggering both a systemic and mucosal response.”
Project NextGen, a $5 billion initiative led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), aims to pioneer innovative vaccines and therapeutics providing broader and more enduring protection against COVID-19 compared to initial vaccines and medications. Vaxart’s oral pill vaccine platform aligns with BARDA’s preferences, generating mucosal immunity and offering a cross-reactive response to various COVID variants.
Vaxart shared the news on X:
Vaxart, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, is advancing oral recombinant vaccines utilizing its proprietary delivery platform. These vaccines, administered via pills, boast advantages such as storage without refrigeration and elimination of needle-stick injury risks. Vaxart envisions its unique pill vaccine delivery platform as suitable for developing oral versions of existing vaccines and designing recombinant vaccines for novel indications. Current development programs include oral vaccines targeting coronavirus, norovirus, seasonal influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), alongside a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), representing Vaxart’s inaugural immune-oncology endeavor. The company has filed comprehensive domestic and international patent applications covering its proprietary technology, featuring oral vaccination using adenovirus and TLR3 agonists.
For more information please visit: https://vaxart.com/