First off, it makes sense why many may be skeptical about Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT). One of the lesser-known Covid-19 vaccine companies, VXRT stock has seen a big drop in popularity from its peaks in 2020. Given how many across the world have been vaccinated this year, that’s no surprise.
It may be “late to the game,” but don’t take this to mean it has zero chance of finding commercial success with its unique vaccine. Emphasis on unique. With its vaccine coming in pill form, it could find success thanks to two factors.
First, it may become a niche vaccine, for those still unvaccinated due to needle hesitancy. Second, stable at room temperature, it may find demand overseas. Particularly in areas lacking the infrastructure needed to store the more widely used mRNA vaccines.
Still in clinical trials, it’s going to take time for its main catalyst to fully play out. But as this candidate moves through the pipeline, investors willing to ride out further middling performance could be rewarded for their patience. With this, and despite the risks, which are inherent with any early stage biotech company, shares remain a buy.
VXRT Stock and the Latest on its Vaccine Candidate
When last discussing Vaxart back in September, I went through the vaccine maker’s progress so far bringing its VXA-CoV2-1 candidate to market. Since then, it’s made more progress. By the end of October, it will kick off its U.S. Phase II trial of its S-only vaccine candidate. The company is also recruiting for its Phase II trial that will be conducted outside the U.S.
Along with clinical trial progress, another bit of positive news came out that VXRT stock has a slight boost. What was the positive news? Results from a study conducted on hamsters, showed that the company’s vaccine candidate can reduce airborne transmission of Covid-19.
Put it all together, and it’s still clear that this candidate remains a contender to join the rest of the vaccines that have been rolled out over the past year. That said, I can see why some are concerned about its “late to the game” status. With the adoption of a vaccine mandate, the rate of vaccination has gone up sharply in the United States in recent weeks.
However, I don’t see this as something that will dampen its demand stateside. Along with its potential in overseas markets, there’s still big potential here.
It’s Not ‘Game Over’ for The ‘No Needle’ Alternative
Since announced by President Joe Biden last month, the upcoming vaccine mandate has already helped to increase America’s rate of vaccination. If this trend continues, as stricter rules are enforced, more Americans would be inclined to get the vaccine.
Some may think this means bad news for VXRT stock, but in my view, I don’t see it as something that means “game over” for Vaxart. Instead, concerns that it will find minimal demand for its candidate may be overblown. Why? While this mandate covers two-thirds of the U.S. workforce, it doesn’t apply to everybody. Of those not subject to the mandate, there are scores of people who may be hesitant to “get the jab,” but not hesitant to get a vaccine. This points to this “no needle” alternative generating more sales domestically than the market currently anticipates.
Along with this, it has potential appeal overseas, with millions likely around the world who are “jab-but-not-vax” hesitant, just like in the United States. They too may have slipped through the cracks of vaccine mandates, yet would be open to taking the “no needle” option.
To top it all off, it may have the edge in markets where transportation and storage can be a challenged. In contrast to vaccines administered by syringe, this pill-based vaccine is shelf-stable, and much easier to distribute.
The Verdict on VXRT Stock
As on par with the course of clinical-stage biotech companies, risk runs high with Vaxart. Despite its strong prospects, any sort of hiccup with its Phase II clinical trial could send shares down to much lower prices. If it fails to make further progress, it has to pull the plug completely on being a pill-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
The stock may be at risk of falling back to significantly lower prices it traded for around the time the virus began to spread across the globe. Having said that, given its strong chances of not only getting regulatory approval, but finding ample demand both in and outside the U.S., this remains a vaccine play that could pay off for investors willing to wait for it to make its way through the pipeline.
Coming in with a “B” rating in Portfolio Grader, VXRT stock is still worth a shot.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
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