Covid-19 vaccine development is less Vaxart, more science

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With phase III Covid-19 vaccine data coming thick and fast it is sometimes easy to forget that there is still a host of candidates in early development. One of those, Vaxart’s VXA-CoV2-1, looks like it might not be around for much longer, however, after disappointing data reported yesterday. A phase I study of the oral project failed to find neutralising antibodies in subjects’ serum, and most participants did not have an IgG response. But Vaxart has not given up: the company highlighted T-cell responses and said it would now broaden its Covid-19 vaccine development plans. The developer had hoped that, by including both the spike and N proteins, VXA-CoV2-1 could protect against new coronavirus variants. And, with many of the projects listed below beginning development before new variants emerged, the relevance of the remaining early pipeline might now be limited. The exceptions could come from Gritstone, which last month said it would soon take a more broadly acting candidate into phase I; and Curevac and Glaxosmithkline, which yesterday agreed to collaborate on next-gen mRNA projects, including a multivalent vaccine to address emerging variants.

Click here for our look at the mid/late-stage Covid-19 vaccine pipeline.

The third wave of Covid-19 vaccine candidates
Project Description Company Update
VXA-CoV2-1 Oral adenovirus type 5 vaccine Vaxart (US) Ph1 data disappoint
VLA2001 Inactivated virus Valneva (France)  Ph1/2 data due April 2021
AG0301-COVID19 DNA vaccine Anges (Japan) Data from Japan study due Q1'21
GX-19 DNA vaccine Genexine (S. Korea) Ph1 started Jul 2020
LNP-nCoVsaRNA Self-amplifying RNA vaccine Imperial College (UK)  P1 started Jun 2020
Covax19 Recombinant protein vaccine Vaxine (Australia)  Ph1 started Jun 2020
GRAd-COV2 Gorilla adenovirus vaccine Reithera (Italy)  P1 ongoing 
Unnamed Self-amplifying RNA + adenoviral vaccine  Gritstone Oncology/Genevant (US)  NIH-sponsored Ph1 to start Q1'21
Unnamed Next-gen mRNA vaccine Curevac/Glaxosmithkline (Germany/UK) Development to begin "immediately"
List not exhaustive. Source: EvaluatePharma & company statements.

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