Vaxart Announces Additional Data from Hamster Challenge Study of its Oral COVID-19 Vaccine
- Significant reduction in lung viral load of 4-5 logs in hamsters that received two oral vaccine doses, as compared to non-vaccinated animals.
- Potent induction of antibody response, with serum IgG antibody titers above 10,000 in hamsters that received two oral vaccine doses.
- Oral vaccination protected as well as intranasal vaccination against intranasal challenge with respect to key indicators: protection from weight loss, protection from increase in lung weight, viral load reduction, and induction of serum IgG antibodies, demonstrating that mucosal protection by both routes of administration was comparable.
As previously announced, all hamsters that received two oral doses of Vaxart’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed no systemic weight loss, a key indicator of protection against COVID-19 in this animal model. By contrast, the unvaccinated animals lost approximately 9% total weight. Additionally, unvaccinated hamsters had over two times (2x) the relative lung weight of orally vaccinated hamsters, a sensitive indicator of serious disease that correlates with the viral load findings.
“These additional data provide further evidence supporting the efficacy potential of our oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” said
The study evaluated Vaxart’s recombinant adenoviral vaccine, with doses administered at 0 and 4 weeks. Animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 at week 8. Hamsters are considered an excellent model for assessing COVID-19 infection since they can be infected via the intranasal route, and, if infected, they demonstrate clinical symptoms such as weight loss, labored breathing and ruffled fur. Furthermore, hamsters also develop lung issues similar to those seen in humans. Images of hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2 reveal severe lung injury comparable to what has been observed in infected human lungs, including severe, multi-lobular ground glass opacity, and regions of lung inflammation.
Vaxart is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a range of oral recombinant vaccines based on its proprietary delivery platform. Vaxart vaccines are designed to be administered using tablets that can be stored and shipped without refrigeration and eliminate the risk of needle-stick injury. Vaxart has believes that its proprietary tablet vaccine delivery platform is suitable to deliver recombinant vaccines, positioning the company to develop oral versions of currently marketed vaccines and to design recombinant vaccines for new indications. Its development programs currently include tablet vaccines designed to protect against coronavirus, norovirus, seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), Vaxart’s first immuno-oncology indication. Vaxart has filed broad domestic and international patents covering its proprietary technology and creations for oral vaccination using adenovirus and TLR3 agonists.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding Vaxart’s strategy, prospects, plans and objectives, results from preclinical and clinical trials, commercialization agreements and licenses, beliefs and expectations of management are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may be accompanied by such words as “should,” “believe,” “could,” “potential,” “will,” “expected,” “plan” and other words and terms of similar meaning. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to Vaxart’s ability to develop (including enrolling a sufficient number of subjects and manufacturing sufficient quantities of its product candidates) and commercialize its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and preclinical or clinical results and trial data (including plans with respect to the COVID-19 vaccine product candidates); expectations regarding the timing and nature of future announcements including, those related to clinical trials and results of preclinical studies; Vaxart’s expectations with respect to the important advantages it believes its oral vaccine platform can offer over injectable alternatives, particularly for coronaviruses; the potential applicability of results seen in our preclinical studies or trials to those that may be seen in human studies or clinical trials; the expected role of mucosal immunity in blocking transmission of COVID-19; and Vaxart’s expectations with respect to the effectiveness of its products or product candidates, including Vaxart’s potential role in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 globally.
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Source: Vaxart, Inc.