(Reuters) – Vaxart Inc said on Friday it would test its potential COVID-19 vaccine on monkeys in a study organized by the Trump Administration’s vaccine-acceleration program called “Operation Warp Speed”.

Shares of the U.S. vaccine developer jumped 63% before the opening bell.

The company said the study would be funded by “Operation Warp Speed”, which aims to provide safe and effective vaccines by January 2021.

Vaxart said the vaccine is an oral tablet and is easier to store and administer than injectable ones.

There are no approved vaccines for the new coronavirus, and several companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc have been rushing to develop a viable vaccine candidate.

Executives and other experts have suggested that clinical trials to guarantee a vaccine is safe and effective could take a minimum of 12 to 18 months.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)