Healthcare Business

Novavax Could Have the Next Big COVID-19 Vaccine

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) stock jumped to close out the week after the firm announced the final efficacy numbers for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. With this out of the way, the company should be able to push forward with distribution shortly.

In terms of the specifics, Novavax announced efficacy of 96.4% against mild, moderate and severe disease caused by the original COVID-19 strain in a pivotal Phase 3 trial in the United Kingdom of NVX–CoV2373, the company’s vaccine candidate.

The company also announced the complete analysis of its Phase 2b trial taking place in South Africa, with efficacy of 55.4% among the HIV-negative trial participants in a region where the vast majority of strains are B1.351 escape variants. Across both trials, NVX-CoV2373 demonstrated 100% protection against severe disease, including all hospitalization and death.

Management noted that it was encouraged by the data showing that NVX-CoV2373 not only provided complete protection against the most severe forms of disease, but also dramatically reduced mild and moderate disease across both trials. Importantly, both studies confirmed efficacy against the variant strains.

The U.K. study enrolled more than 15,000 participants between 18 and 84 years of age, including 27% over the age of 65. Efficacy was 96.4% against the original virus strain and 86.3% against the B.1.1.7/501Y.V1 variant circulating in the United Kingdom.

In volunteers 65 years of age and older, 10 cases of COVID-19 were observed, with 90% of those cases occurring in the placebo group. Older adults are among the groups most affected by the disease and are at high risk of complications from COVID-19.

Novavax expects the data to serve as the basis for submission for authorization to various regulatory agencies worldwide.

Novavax stock traded up about 6% on Friday to $199.50, in a 52-week range of $6.77 to $331.68. The consensus price target is $281.25.