The primary focus of Gritstone’s BARDA contract is to conduct a Phase 2b comparative study. This study will evaluate the efficacy of Gritstone’s self-amplifying mRNA vaccine candidate, which contains the Spike protein as well as other viral targets, in protecting against Covid-19. The trial will involve 10,000 participants and will be randomized and double-blinded. Its purpose is to compare the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of Gritstone’s next-generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate with an approved vaccine for Covid-19.
Gritstone Bio will collaborate with the Covid-19 Prevention Network to conduct the study within the United States. The company is currently making preparations for the trial, which will be fully funded by BARDA. This collaboration aims to leverage the expertise of both parties and accelerate the development of an effective vaccine against the virus.
The funding for this project is sourced from federal funds provided by several organizations, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and BARDA. These entities recognize the urgent need for innovative solutions to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Piper Sandler, a well-regarded financial institution, has expressed confidence in Gritstone Bio’s potential for success. They have raised the stock’s price target to $7 per share, up from $6, while maintaining an Overweight rating. This reinforcement reflects the optimism surrounding Gritstone’s developments and their commitment to combating the global health crisis.