Vaxart is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing recombinant oral vaccines in tablet form. The company’s oral vaccines are developed with its proprietary platform called VAAST and are designed to activate the immune system of the gut which can generate broad systemic and local responses. Vaxart’s tablets can be stored at room temperature. The company is working on liquid formulations for young children and adults unable to ingest tablets.
The delivery platform uses a replication-incompetent adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) vector that delivers two payloads to cells in the mucosal epithelium of the small intestine. One payload is the gene that codes for a pathogen-specific antigen and the other is the gene for the Toll Like Receptor-3 (TLR-3) agonist. The TLR-3 agonist is an adjuvant that activates the innate immune system and has the ability to stimulate a broad immune response.
Vaxart has an H1 influenza oral tablet vaccine that completed a phase II clinical study in 2018. The company has a research collaboration with Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. The company is working on a norovirus vaccine.
Vaxart’s investigational oral tablet vaccines have shown robust mucosal responses in humans. The company is working on a vaccine for the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the coronavirus primarily infects the respiratory tract, enhanced mucosal immune responses would be desirable in a vaccine for the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 outbreak.
Anurag (Anu) Nigam
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- BiotechnologyBiotechnology can refer to the application of science and technology to living organisms or the use of living organisms, their parts, products or models thereof to solve a problem, produce knowledge or produce goods and services. Biotechnology may involve the alteration of living or non-living materials.
- COVID-19COVID-19 is the abbreviated name for coronavirus disease 2019, a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus strain called SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan City, China and the outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization.
- BiotechnologyBiotechnology in a broad sense includes the use of living systems and organisms, as well as their parts for the development or production of products.