US-based, clinical-stage biotechnology company Vaxart has begun the Phase I clinical trial of the oral norovirus tablet vaccine.

Vaxart’s vaccine delivery platform features a vector-adjuvant combination, which can be used with a range of recombinant antigens to develop orally administered vaccines.

The Phase I trial is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study designed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of Vaxart’s VP1, protein-based, norovirus tablet vaccine when administered to 66 healthy adult volunteers.

The participants will be observed for 12 months to determine safety, and other systemic and local immune responses to be examined at multiple time points during the study.

"We now have tablet vaccines in the clinic for norovirus, RSV and seasonal flu, three important pathogens with significant public health impact."

Vaxart CEO Wouter Latour said: “We now have tablet vaccines in the clinic for norovirus, RSV and seasonal flu, three important pathogens with significant public health impact.

“A tablet vaccine for any of these indications would dramatically increase the efficiency of large vaccination campaigns improving vaccine uptake and reducing costs.

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“Having all three would be the ultimate trifecta in the vaccine sector.”

Norovirus is considered as the chief cause in causing acute gastroenteritis, which triggers symptoms such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea and sometimes fever.

According to Vaxart founder and chief scientific officer Sean Tucker, its norovirus tablet vaccine can immunise a larger population.

The vaccine is expected to induce systemic and local immune responses in the gut, which is believed to actively protect against a norovirus infection.