1 Green Flag and 1 Red Flag for Novavax vaccine candidate

Unlike the first COVID-19 vaccines approved in the US, Novavax‘s (NASDAQ: NVAX) candidate, NVX-CoV2373, is not based on mRNA. Instead, it uses the tried and true method to inject proteins from a virus into the body to stimulate an immune response – in this case, from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID -19. Using this approach, the company distributed promising early results into more than $ 2 billion in investments from the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed ​​(OWS) and the Coalition for Innovations Epidemic Preparation (CEPI).

Novavax bet paid off. Late last month, the company released an update from their level 3 survey in the UK and a level 2b test in South Africa, with results from the US and Mexico expected in March. While the results have put the stock up nearly 130% since they were read out, there were elements for both optimists and pessimists to focus on.

Image source: Getty Images.

Green flag

As the Moderna and Pfizer previously authorized vaccines, Novavax vaccine applicant readily applied the 50% efficacy bar set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. In a study of 15,000 people on adults between the ages of 18 and 84, the drug showed 89% efficacy in preventing COVID-19.

In particular, it was 95.6% effective in protecting against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, and 85.6% against a variety of new UK strains. Despite the small reduction in efficacy, that is Separate news, from UK issues fluctuations double every ten days in the US and could be the biggest pressure in the country by March.

Red flag

Unlike the impressive effectiveness of NVX-CoV2373 against the older versions of SARS-CoV-2, the South African variant was a tougher challenge. There are three critical mutations in that snort and it first appeared in October, becoming the strongest strain of the virus in some regions of the country by December. The Novavax candidate was only 49.4% effective against this change. Some trial participants even became ill from the variant after already on COVID-19.

Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax, believes a benefit of the company’s platform is its ability to quickly create vaccine candidates that can handle many strains of the virus. His theory will be put to the test quickly: Novavax is already developing a new version of its vaccine to target the South African version.

That’s similar to the increase Moderna and Pfizer are developing for their own vaccines. according to Johnson & JohnsonBoss, people might need these boosters for years to come.

A matter of time

So far, the company has misrepresented their doubts, with efficiency levels among the best reported. Novavax is well positioned to continue rewarding shareholders in 2021, with supply agreements in place to deliver over 2 billion doses annually.

Although manufacturing cases delayed the start of the biotech’s phase 3 testing in the U.S. and Mexico, they are expected to release data next month. An ongoing review initiated in the US, Europe, Canada, and the UK could accelerate the process in these areas. In the US, that could mean licensing as early as April and enough doses for 55 million people by June.

With excellent results against older versions of the virus, some protection against a newer one, and slow release of vaccines leaving room in the market for the Novavax offering, it is understandable that the company ‘s stock has risen higher since the update. last month. If predictions about annual increase pictures and new versions of old vaccines are true, Novavax shares may not be made to climb.