There’s no denying the best sector for investors right now is the COVID-19 vaccine plays. We at Insider Financial have nailed quite a few this year, from Inovio Pharmaceuticals to Moderna to Vaxart and most recently with Heat Biologics. Now we are turning our attention to TNXP stock, a name that we have covered in the past and another Covid-19 vaccine player that has yet to make a huge move like Inovio, Moderna, Vaxart, and Heat Biologics, but soon will.
The Importance Of T-Cells
The reason we like TNXP stock so much right now is the new evidence that is coming out regarding immunity to COVID-19. Evidence is emerging that T-cells, which can “remember” past infections and kill pathogens if they reappear, have a big influence on how long patients remain resistant to reinfection by Covid-19. The cells, whose size and complexity dwarf tiny antibodies, also appear to affect how well vaccines work and even the level of immunity in the community required to suppress new waves of disease.
People who recovered from Sars, the disease most closely related to Covid-19, in 2003 still show cellular immunity to that coronavirus 17 years later. T-cells, which circulate in the blood, might protect people who have been infected and recovered from the new coronavirus but have no detectable antibodies shortly thereafter. According to Al Edwards, associate professor at Reading University’s School of Pharmacy:
“T-cells are tasting the virus whereas the antibodies are feeling the virus. T-cells can promote antibody responses and antibody responses can promote a T-cell response. These two systems work together.”
TNXP Stock and Southern Research
TNXP stock is collaborating with Southern Research on a COVID-19 vaccine. The two have just expanded their collaboration focusing specifically on T cell immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in volunteers who have recovered from the disease or who remain asymptomatic after exposure to COVID-19. Raj Kalkeri, Ph.D., MBA, a senior scientist in Southern Research’s Infectious Disease Research Group, said the study’s findings will shed new light on the role that T cells – a central part of the immune system – may play in the development of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
Results from this testing are expected in the fourth quarter of 2020, followed by subsequent human trials of TNX-1800. TNX-1800, the firm’s leading COVID-19 vaccine candidate, is designed to elicit a predominant T cell response, along with some antibody response. Three other early candidates in the company’s vaccine portfolio are designed to elicit an almost pure T cell response. Tonix CEO and President Seth Lederman, M.D., said:
“The data we plan to collect from recovered and asymptomatic COVID-19 volunteers is expected to inform vaccine development on how to safely provide to vaccine recipients the same immune responses that others got from recovering from actual CoV-2 infection. The features of a protective immune response to SARS-CoV-2 remain unknown. But since SARS-CoV-2 is a virus, we believe that T cell responses, in particular T Helper Type 1, or TH1 responses, will play an important if not dominant role in protecting against serious illness from COVID-19.”
TNXP Stock and Columbia University
TNXP stock is also collaborating with Columbia University on a COVID-19 vaccine. The study focuses on immune responses to COVID-19 in healthy volunteers who have recovered from COVID-19 or were asymptomatic. The research collaboration will focus on T cell and antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19 at the cellular level including human monoclonal antibodies and anti-idiotypes. The research is designed to fill important gaps in understanding the detailed immune responses to COVID-19 and to provide a foundation upon which to target vaccines and therapeutics to appropriate individuals by precision medicine.
Columbia University researchers are at the forefront when it comes to COVID-19. The researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center have isolated antibodies from several COVID-19 patients that, to date, are among the most potent in neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The researchers have confirmed that their purified, strongly neutralizing antibodies provide significant protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters, and they are planning further studies in other animals and people.
This research in antibodies from Columbia is important because T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 have only recently been reported. There is much that researchers hope to learn and to contribute to the understanding of the systemic immune response to COVID-19. Columbia plans to exploit the fully human monoclonal antibody system to characterize the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the potential for developing antibody-based immunotherapeutics.
TNXP Stock and Kansas State University
TNXP stock is also collaborating with Kansas State University on a COVID-19 vaccine. The two are working to develop a vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19 that utilizes a novel live virus vaccine vector platform and the CD40-ligand, also known as CD154 or 5c8 antigen, to stimulate T cell immunity.
Under the research agreement, K-State will advance the preclinical development of a live replicating virus vaccine to protect against COVID-19 based on the bovine parainfluenza virus. Attenuated bovine parainfluenza virus has previously been shown to be an effective antigen delivery vector in humans. Notably and most importantly, following extensive testing in non-human primates, the attenuated BPI3V was shown to be well-tolerated, infectious, immunogenic, and stable in infants and children.
The vaccine is designed to potentially stimulate immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The research will be directed by Dr. Waithaka Mwangi, Kansas State University, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, who is the inventor of the new technology. In addition, K-State has granted Tonix an option for an exclusive license for the clinical and commercial use of K-State’s intellectual property associated with coronavirus vaccines under this relationship.
Seth Lederman, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Tonix, said:
“This marks our second live viral vaccine vector platform for the prevention of COVID-19. Our lead vaccine in development, TNX-1800, is based on horsepox virus. The K-State program is based on bovine parainfluenza virus.”
There Will Be More Than One COVID-19 Vaccine
There are currently well over 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of development, but relatively few utilize live replicating viral platforms. We expect that more than one COVID-19 vaccine will ultimately be approved by the FDA, and a challenge for future research will be to determine which vaccine is appropriate for each individual. This is why it’s important for investors to believe that the vaccine candidates from Moderna or Astra Zeneca are not the only possibilities. TNXP stock has as good a chance as delivering a vaccine as they do.
TNXP stock has a market cap of just $128 million. The company has three collaborations working on a COVID-19 vaccine. We have not even covered TNX-102 SL in Phase 3 development for the management of fibromyalgia and for agitation in Alzheimer’s disease and alcohol use disorder. We will do so in a future article.
For now, the focus is on COVID-19 and a vaccine. TNXP has multiple irons in the fire when it comes to a COVID-19 vaccine and we believe the chances of success are quite high. Considering the seriousness of the outbreak, Tonix Pharmaceuticals could be the next company to be included in Operation Warp Speed and get federal funding. J&J got $456 million. Moderna received $483 million and Astra Zeneca got $1.2 billion.
Why not Tonix?
The recent data might have just been the catalyst for TNXP to get funding.
As always, good luck to all (except the shorts)!
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Disclosure: We have no position in NASDAQ:TNXP or any of the securities mentioned. We wrote this article ourselves and it expresses our own opinions. We are not receiving compensation for it. We have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.