Bet on a No-Needle Vaccine Strategy with Vaxart

As you might be able to surmise from the company’s name, clinical-stage biotechnology company Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) specializes in developing vaccines. And in the age of the Covid-19 pandemic, traders have taken a strong interest in VXRT stock.

The Vaxart (VXRT) logo is surrounded by face masks, syringes and pills.

Source: Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

Investing in Vaxart is a risky proposition, I’ll admit. The company is neither the first nor the most famous Covid-19 vaccine maker out there.

Yet Vaxart could still be first-to-market in a different way. Evidently, the company is working diligently to reimagine how Covid-19 vaccines are distributed.

This is a love-it-or-hate-it type of investment, with very little middle ground to stand on. What can’t be disputed, however, is that Vaxart will force the medical community to consider what’s possible  and will prompt traders to either join the cause or stay on the sidelines.

A Closer Look at VXRT Stock

First things first: if you decide to buy this name, please only devote a small percentage of your portfolio to it. I’m applying an important principle here: the higher the volatility of stocks, the less money you should devote to them.

That being said, it’s exciting to consider how high VXRT stock could go. We’ve seen its share price move very high, very quickly, and that could happen again.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. In early June 2020, Vaxart’s shares were trading for $2 and change. But then, in mid-July, its stock price jumped to $17.

Something similar happened in January and February of this year, when VXRT stock popped from $7 to a 52-week high of $24.90.

There was also a mini-spike when the stock doubled from $5.06 on April 20 to $10.78 on April 30. In early June, however it was back below $7.

Could VXRT stock be reloading for another shot at $15, $20, or more? You never know when Vaxart’s next price surge might happen  or how far it could go.

Fear of Needles

Sure, there are millions of people in the world who have taken a Covid-19 vaccine already. Yet there are also many folks who haven’t done so.

As InvestorPlace contributor Thomas Niel concisely put it, “vaccine hesitancy runs high. As a result, vaccine supply still outstrips demand.”

I like the phrase “vaccine hesitancy,” as it sums up one of the persistent roadblocks to  full recovery of America and the world from the Covid-19 pandemic.

But is it really vaccine hesitancy or is it mostly just needle hesitancy?

Vaxart wanted to get to the bottom of this, so the company commissioned a poll conducted by Quadrant Strategies.

In a national survey of 1,500 Americans over the age of 18, 23% of the respondents said that they don’t plan to get vaccinated.

And nearly one-third of those currently refusing to get vaccinated would do so if they could take a pill instead of getting an injection.

Moreover, nearly one-fourth of all the respondents said that they’re afraid of needles. Could there be a simple, practical solution to this?

Hold the Needles – and the Ice

Indeed, there is a potential solution and for open-minded folks, it’s not a hard pill to swallow.

Vaxart’s Phase 1 study of the company’s VXA-CoV2-1 oral coronavirus vaccine tablet yielded results that were highly encouraging.

As it turns out, VXA-CoV2-1 “induced potent CD8T-cell responses that are potentially protective against the original as well as new and emerging Covid-19 strains.”

The value proposition of VXA-CoV2-1 only grows when we consider its advantages. For one thing, it could be an ideal solution to some people’s fear of needles.

Plus, the enteric-coated tablets are stable at room temperature (defined as 25 degrees Celsius).

So no ice is needed for Vaxart’s tablets – and that should make storage, shipping and distribution of them easier.

The Bottom Line

If any biotech stock has the potential to fly at any given moment, it’s VXRT stock.

It’s happened multiple times during the past year and could easily happen again.

And for long-term investors, it should be exciting to consider Vaxart’s unique approach to battling the Covid-19 pandemic : no ice and no needles, but a powerful drive to innovate.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


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