Shares of Vaxart Inc. (VXRT) rocketed 54% on heavy volume in afternoon trading, putting them on track for the first close above the $1 mark in nearly 10 months, after the biotechnology company said it "initiated" a program to develop a coronavirus vaccine ( ). Trading volume was inflated to 57.7 million shares, compared with the full-day average over the past 30 days of 3.7 million shares. The company said it will develop a vaccine candidate based on its oral vaccine platform, VAAST, which it has used to conduct multiple clinical trials. "We believe our oral tablet vaccines provide substantial potential advantages, especially when targeting mucosal pathogens such as flu, norovirus, RSV and the recently emerged coronavirus,"said Chief Executive Wouter Latour. "In addition, the logistical advantages of an oral vaccine that is administered using a convenient room temperature-stable tablet could be of critical benefit when rolling out a major public health vaccination campaign." The stock has now run up 251% over the past three months, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) has gained 5.6% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 6.5%.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 31, 2020 14:08 ET (19:08 GMT)
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