What happened Shares of Vaxart (NASDAQ: VXRT) were skyrocketing 27.6% higher as of 11:52 a.m. EDT on Friday. The huge gain came after Piper Sandler analyst Yasmeen Rahimi initiated coverage on the stock with an overweight rating.
The tumble was caused by the company's publication of new data about its coronavirus vaccine pill on May 3, which failed to show high levels of neutralizing antibodies in a clinical trial despite showing other signals of immune system activation. Vaxart's coronavirus candidate had shown the same weaknesses in prior data readouts in February, meaning that the latest results served to cement investors' low expectations for its efficacy. Given that competitors like Pfizer and Moderna have both successfully marketed coronavirus vaccines which generate strong antibody responses, it's unlikely that Vaxart's program has much of a future.
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