First Oral COVID-19 Vaccine Selected For Operation Warp Speed

Vaxart coronavirus vaccine is a room temperature stable tablet
depicition of the virus

A South San Francisco based biotechnology company announced that its oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been selected to participate in a non-human primate (NHP) challenge study, organized and funded by the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed.

Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is a national effort to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.

On June 26, 2020, Vaxart, Inc., stated this study is designed to demonstrate the efficacy of Vaxart’s oral COVID-19 vaccine in humans.

“We are very pleased to be one of the few companies selected by Operation Warp Speed, and that ours is the only oral vaccine being evaluated,” said Andrei Floroiu, Chief Executive Officer of Vaxart Inc., in a related press release. 

“SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is primarily transmitted by viral particles that enter through the mucosa - nose, mouth, or eyes - strongly suggesting that mucosal immunity could serve as the first line of defense.”

“In addition, our vaccine is a room temperature-stable tablet, an enormous logistical advantage in large vaccination campaigns.”

On May 20, 2020, Sean Tucker, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Vaxart, commented: “In a phase 2 efficacy study, we have demonstrated that our oral H1 flu tablet vaccine protected against influenza infection after just 1-dose.”

In January 2020, Vaxart initiated a program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine based on its VAAST oral vaccines platform.

OWS is aiming to provide substantial quantities of a safe, effective vaccine for Americans by January 2021.

OWS is a partnership between the Defense Department and the Department of Health and Human Services. Specific DHS components involved include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

OWS has also been working with multiple companies to quickly manufacture a vaccine and to develop solutions for the distribution of that vaccine once it is ready. This includes tools such as pre-filled syringes, vials, and containers.

Vaxart is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing oral tablet vaccines designed to generate mucosal and systemic immune responses that protect against a wide range of infectious diseases and have the potential to provide sterilizing immunity for diseases such as COVID-19. 

COVID-19 vaccine development news published by Precision Vaccinations.