Healthcare Business

Why This Funding Is Crucial for Novavax

Chris Lange

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) shares jumped on Tuesday after the company announced that it would be receiving a sizable investment to further produce its COVID-19 vaccine.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will invest up to $384 million of additional funding, on top of $4 million it invested in March, to advance clinical development of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’s vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.

The additional funding from CEPI also will support rapid scale-up of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine antigen, as well as Novavax’s proprietary Matrix-M adjuvant, which is expected to enhance immune responses by stimulating high levels of neutralizing antibodies.

Additionally, the CEPI funding will allow Novavax to increase dramatically its large-scale manufacturing capacity for both antigen and adjuvant in multiple locations.

Novavax specifically detailed how it plans to use the CEPI funding:

  • A Phase 1/2 clinical trial with the Phase I portion starting this month in Australia and the Phase 2 portion conducted in multiple countries following successful Phase 1 top-line results that are expected in July.
  • Process development for scaled-up production to potentially allow manufacturing of up to 100 million vaccine doses by end of 2020.
  • Access to large-scale manufacturing capacity in multiple countries with a goal of potentially producing over one billion doses during 2021.

Stanley C. Erck, president and CEO of Novavax, commented:

CEPI plays a vital role in advancing innovative technologies against the COVID-19 pandemic. Their partnership and support allows Novavax to leverage its innovative vaccine platform and expertise in this global crisis,” “For the last few months, the entire Novavax team has been working nonstop in an ongoing effort to make our vaccine a reality, and we appreciate CEPI’s confidence in our technology platform and our progress.

Novavax stock traded up about 56% to $38.25 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $3.54 to $42.54. The consensus price target is $23.17.