Vaxxinity, hoping to turn bodies into their own drug factories, makes a subdued Wall Street debut

Immunotherapeutic vaccine developer Vaxxinity, with an eye on COVID and some serious CNS diseases, has pulled off a fairly small IPO.

The Dallas-based company (with bases around the world), created back in the spring when COVAXX and United Neuroscience came together under the new biotech, had been gunning for a $101 million offering, looking to sell nearly 7 million shares at a price range between $14 and $16.

But today it priced at just $13, below its original range, selling 6 million shares and earning $78 million. The company will trade on the Nasdaq under the "VAXX" symbol.

The company, tapping tech from its two parents, is working on a synthetic peptide vaccine platform—aka the Vaxxine Platform—which it said in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing has the potential to enable a new class of medicines.  

Its platform is set up to harness the immune system to convert the body into its own "drug factory," stimulating the production of antibodies with a therapeutic or protective effect.

It has a of host early- to midstage shots on goal, including for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, migraine and hypercholesterolemia.

Its leading candidate, UB-311, targets amyloid to try to beat Alzheimer's, with a phase 2b early efficacy trial slated for next year.

It’s also working on a COVID-19 prevention program, UB-612, designed to activate both B- and T-cell arms of the immune system to fight against SARS-CoV-2; the program is in several phases of development around the world.

Both of these are high-risk, high-reward plays, and Vaxxinity still has a long road ahead.