Novavax Shares Plunge 11% Despite Positive Vaccine Update

Biotechnology company Novavax, Inc. (NVAX) issued two new updates for its COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, a protein-based vaccine candidate with Matrix-M™ adjuvant, for use in adults.

NVAX’s Nuvaxovid™ COVID-19 vaccine has received interim authorization in Singapore for use in adults aged 18 and above. The company has also applied for conditional marketing authorization (CMA) for its COVID-19 Vaccine in Switzerland.

Despite the good news, NVAX stock plunged 11.4% yesterday to close at $80.11 amid an overall downfall in Coronavirus vaccine stocks.

Last Friday, Pfizer (PFE) and partner BioNTech SE (BNTX) announced a delay in the submission of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for their vaccine for children between ages 6 months and 4 years, which resulted in a fall in both these stocks.

Meanwhile, shares of drug maker Moderna Inc. (MRNA) crashed 11.7%, after CEO Stéphane Bancel sold some of his MRNA stake over the last week and deleted his Twitter account thereafter. However, none of these news events had anything to do with NVAX’s vaccine update and its stock price fall.

HSA Issues Interim Authorization of Nuvaxovid

Singapore has joined a growing list of regions that have authorized the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine. The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HAS) has issued interim authorization for Nuvaxovid, after a thorough study of its clinical data.

Novavax submitted two pivotal Phase 3 clinical data: PREVENT-19, conducted on 30,000 participants aged 18 years and above in the U.S. and Mexico. Another trial included data from 15,000 adult participants in the U.K.

Both the trials showed efficacy and safety as well as a good tolerability profile with moderate side effects. The first dose of the Novavax vaccine is expected to arrive in Singapore by the end of March this year.

CMA of NVX-CoV2373 in Switzerland

Novavax has applied for the conditional marketing authorization of NVX-CoV2373 for use in adults to Swissmedic, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products. The submission for the approval includes the same set of clinical data as described in the Singapore submission.

Commenting on the same, Novavax President and CEO, Stanley C. Erck, said, “We look forward to Swissmedic’s review and, if authorized, delivering the vaccine to Switzerland to help fill the continued gap in vaccination and global distribution channels.”

Nuvaxovid has received conditional approval from several other agencies worldwide, including the European Commission, along with the emergency listing from the World Health Organization. The vaccine is also undergoing review from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Wall Streets’ View

Recently, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Charles Duncan lowered the price target on the NVAX stock to $174 (117.2% upside potential) from $282 and maintained a Buy rating.

Duncan is concerned about the fading use of COVID-19 boosters amid the declining effects and cases of coronavirus. Having said that, the analyst has full belief in the Nuvaxovid vaccine profile, but has a conservative outlook on the company’s performance due to the per-arm pricing and revenue recognition timing.

With 5 Buys and 1 Hold, the NVAX stock commands a Strong Buy consensus rating. The average Novavax price target of $232 implies a whopping 189.6% upside potential to current levels. Meanwhile, NVAX shares have lost 37.1% over the past year.

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