Vaccine specialist Vaxart (VXRT) reported 2Q20 earnings last week, but since its vaccine candidates are all in development, the results themselves were of little importance. More pertinent for investors were updates on the pipeline’s progress. Specifically, Vaxart’s COVID-19 oral vaccine candidate.
As the only oral vaccine to be selected for inclusion in the government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program, Vaxart’s offering has shown promise in pre-clinical trials, with a Phase 1 study expected to begin sometime in 2H20.
While Vaxart’s incredible rise this year (shares are up by over 2,500%) has been solely COVID-driven, the company has other vaccines in development. These include its H1N1 influenza oral tablet vaccine, which recently progressed through a BARDA-funded Phase 2 challenge study evaluating its efficacy against Sanofi's Fluzone. This study yielded positive results.
Additionally, Vaxart has established a working relationship with vaccine leader Janssen, who will make use of Vaxart’s proprietaryVAAST platform and its R&D skills to develop immunogenic oral vaccines.
With several other manufacturing and scale up collaborations in place (Emergent BioSolutions, Kindred Bio, and Attwil Medical Solutions) and a cash position of $140 million, B.Riley FBR analyst Mayank Mamtani argues Vaxart is set to capitalize on its newly elevated position. In addition to keeping an eye on the COVID-19 vaccine candidate’s progress, the 5-star analyst looks ahead to results from the Janssen collaboration and tells investors to take advantage of the recent market fluctuations.
Mamtani said, “We expect these data to provide incremental validation for the proprietary VAAST platform and VXRT's R&D capability to produce immunogenic oral vaccines, targeted specifically to the lung mucosa. The recent pullback in shares, ~45%-plus off its 52-week high, despite an impressive stock move year-to-date, i.e., 2500%, is unwarranted, in our view, given our core thesis of VXRT being well positioned to emerge as one of the key players in the second wave of vaccines.”
Mamtani, therefore, reiterated a Buy rating and has a $22 price target on the shares. What does this mean for investors? Upside potential of a whopping 130%. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)
Only one other analyst has been tracking Vaxart’s progress over the past three months. The additional Buy rating bestows on Vaxart a Moderate Buy consensus rating. With an average price target of $14.50, there’s room for a 54% uptick in the coming months. (See Vaxart stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.