Vaxart said it has entered into an agreement with Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE: EBS) that will allow Emergent to deploy its molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing services to develop and manufacture Vaxart's oral vaccine candidate for COVID-19.
The oral recombinant vaccine candidate is based on Vaxart's proprietary VAAST platform, according to the company.
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"We believe an oral vaccine administered using a room temperature-stable tablet may offer enormous logistical advantages in the roll-out of a large vaccination campaign, and Emergent is a great partner to help in this endeavor," Vaxart CEO Wouter Latoud said in a statement.
Vaxart said the development services will start immediately.
The company said it expects Emergent to produce a cGMP vaccine in bulk to allow it to initiate a Phase 1 study in the second hand of 2020. The development services will be done at Emergent's Gaithsburg, Maryland location, and the manufacturing of the drug will be done at its Bayview facility in Baltimore.
Vaxart shares were rising 27.98% to $2.47 at the time of publication Wednesday and Emergent shares were up 4.78% at $60.51.