Shares of Novavax Inc. (NVAX) set a fresh record high of $235.50 on Friday as investors cheered the company’s coronavirus vaccine trial results.
The company’s protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, is created using recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and is adjuvanted with Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.
In a phase III trial, conducted in the UK, the two-dose regimen of Novavax jab NVX-CoV2373 has been found to have an efficacy of 89.3%. The efficacy against the original COVID-19 strain is calculated to be 95.6% and 85.6% against the UK variant strain.
The vaccine has also been found to be promising against the South Africa escape variant – with an efficacy of 60% in those who are HIV negative – in a phase IIb study.
The variants of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, i.e., the mutated coronavirus, were first detected in the UK and South Africa in December 2020 and in Brazil this month. These variants of the virus have been of concern as they are found to be more infectious and seem to be spreading faster.
In the U.S., a phase III trial of NVX-CoV2373, dubbed PREVENT-19, is underway, with 16,000 participants having been enrolled so far out of the targeted enrollment of 30,000 people. The results of the PREVENT-19 trial could be revealed by March or April, reports Bloomberg quoting Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The UK could be the first to authorize NVX-CoV237 and the country has placed an order for 60 million doses of the vaccine.
Last March, Novavax reported encouraging results from a phase III trial of its recombinant quadrivalent flu vaccine candidate NanoFlu – with NanoFlu outperforming Sanofi’s Fluzone quadrivalent.
The company is working towards advancing NanoFlu to regulatory licensure and is accelerating all activities required to file a biologics licensing application, including exploration of a combined NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 vaccine that could be used in a post-pandemic setting.
NVAX was trading around $9 when we alerted readers to this stock on January 21, 2020. We again reminded readers about the potential of the stock on May 12, 2020, when it was trading around $33.
The stock touched a high of $235.50 in intraday trading Friday (Jan.29, 2021), before closing at $220.94, up 64.87%.
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