At last, the moment we have all been waiting for. The U.S. and some other countries are beginning to ease COVID-19 restrictions and draft exit strategies, but the battle against the deadly virus is far from over. Healthcare organizations have been working around the clock to advance a vaccine capable of taking down this formidable threat to public health, and while achieving this goal won’t be easy, one biotech company is pushing forward.
Vaxart’s (VXRT) progress in its coronavirus (CoV) vaccine program has been nothing short of impressive, and the stock surged whopping 750% year-to-date. This hasn’t escaped the attention of H.C. Wainwright’s Vernon Bernardino, and the five-star analyst is even more optimistic after speaking with senior management regarding the company’s progress with its coronavirus (CoV) vaccine development program.
Bernardino stated, “We gained confidence that Vaxart’s relationship with Emergent BioSolutions positions the company with strong vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities, and with $29.9 million in cash on hand as of March 31, 2020, and preliminary guidance for $2.8 million in royalty revenues in 1Q20, we remain favorable on our full-year projection of $11.6 million.”
It should be noted that preclinical results have already been promising, with several of its vaccine candidates generating immune responses in all tested animals after a single dose. “While these are early results, the results in all five vaccine candidates in development demonstrate significant progress toward identification of a lead candidate for clinical testing…we believe the mucosal and systemic immunity observed, coupled with its oral, room temperature-stable tablet form, could offer logistical advantages over injectables during pandemic vaccination campaigns,” Bernardino commented.
The news gets even better as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) recently awarded Moderna a $483 million grant to support the development of its messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, mRNA-1273. Bernardino argues that this bodes well for VXRT as it could signal potential funding activities for other companies with vaccine candidates. He added, “Therefore, based on our belief that Vaxart could realize a long-term funding option from BARDA to further its own CoV vaccine development program in the next 3-6 months.”
In line with his bullish approach, Bernardino kept a Buy rating on the stock. Adding to the good news, the analyst bumped up the price target from $3 to $7. Should this target be met, a twelve-month gain of 133% could be in the cards. (To watch Bernardino’s track record, click here)
Looking at the consensus breakdown, the rest of the Street has been quiet when it comes to VXRT. Bernardino is the only analyst that has published a review recently.
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