Coronavirus Vaccine-Maker Stock Prices Just Shot Up

For Vaxart, the pandemic has been good news. Should you invest?

Vaxart (VXRT), an oral vaccine developer based in San Francisco, has been on an epic journey since the pandemic hit — and the proof is in its wild stock performance. As the Motley Fool recently reported, back in January you could buy a Vaxart share for just 34 cents. But on Monday, a single share of the company — whose COVID-19 vaccine was recently greenlit for clinical testing by the FDA — was worth $8.76.

Though it might be tempting to buy Vaxart shares in droves, prospective investors should note that Vaxart is both a micro-cap and a biotech stock with no drugs on the market as of yet. This makes it an inherently risky investment. Its nosedive to $1.08 on March 16 is a reminder that micro-cap companies are susceptible to the manipulation of market traders, regardless of what’s going on in the news. But good news certainly doesn’t hurt: On March 18, when Vaxart announced that it had signed a manufacturing agreement with Emergent Biosolutions to “advance an experimental COVID-19 vaccine” Vaxart’s stock soared by 162% in a mere 48 hours.

In June, the federal government hopped aboard as an investor in Vaxart, with the company receiving funding from Operation Warp Speed to participate in a non-human primate challenge study to prevent more people from catching COVID-19. Investors looking to get in on the coronovirus vaccine action might want to buy shares in Vaxart as well as in the other companies OWS is backing — including AstraZeneca, Inovio, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer and Sanofi.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.

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