Vaxart: An Alternative Opportunity in the COVID-19 Vaccine Landscape

On Tuesday, vaccine specialist Vaxart (VXRT) announced it has dosed the first subject in the Phase 1 study of VXA-CoV2-1, the company’s oral, room-temperature stable COVID-19 vaccine candidate.After the vaccine impressed in preclinical models, it is a timely announcement from Vaxart. While the small biotech is significantly behind other, mostly bigger competitors in its Covid-19 vaccine program, as recent events have shown, bringing to market a viable solution is far from hassle free.Earlier this week, Johnson & Johnson halted its Covid-19 vaccine candidate’s Phase 3 study due to a participant’s unexplained illness. That event was swiftly followed by Eli Lily pausing enrollment for its Covid-19 treatment program due to safety concerns.For FBR Riley analyst Mayank Mamtani, the bigger players’ struggles highlight the alternative opportunity Vaxart presents for investors.“As the COVID-19 cases continue to spike WW and leading programs from J&J and AZN experience speedbumps with late-stage development, albeit temporary, it is becoming increasingly important to have multiple shots on goal in the C-19 vaccine landscape and recommend investors diversify positions, including with alternative modalities, e.g., VXRT’s oral candidate, which not only have the potential to be self-administered but are also room-temperature stable and rapidly scalable, conferring significant advantages with respect to stockpiling and distribution, particularly relevant in non-western economies with limited healthcare resources,“ Mamtani commented.Vaxart stock has experienced a roller coaster ride in 2020. Despite being up by 1637% year-to-date, the share price has actually retreated by over 60% since the July yearly highs. Mamtani believes that in addition to the pullback, its “valuation disconnect relative to more advanced C-19 vaccine peers, presents an additional compelling buying opportunity.”To this end, Mamtani rates VXRT a Buy along with a $22 price target. Investors could be pocketing a massive 262% gain, should his thesis play out over the next year. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)Overall, only one other analyst is currently keeping a tab on Vaxart’s progress, also recommending the stock a Buy. Vaxart, therefore, has a Moderate Buy consensus rating backed with a $19.50 average price target. The figure suggests potential upside of 220% in the year ahead. (See VXRT stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.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.

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