Novavax Soars After Getting $388M Funding for Covid-19 Vaccine Candidate

Novavax will receive up to $388 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to advance its coronavirus vaccine candidate.
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Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Report shares were rising sharply in premarket trading Tuesday after the biotechnology company said it would be receiving up to $388 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to advance clinical development of its coronavirus vaccine candidate.

The additional funding, Novavax said, will support a rapid scale-up of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine antigen and allow the company to “dramatically increase its large-scale manufacturing capacity.”

Novavax said it would begin a Phase 1/2 clinical of the vaccine candidate starting this month in Australia. The company said the funding would allow it to potentially make up to 100 million vaccine doses by end of 2020, with the goal of producing more than 1 billion doses by 2021.

"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," said Stanley C. Erck, Novavax president and CEO, in a statement.

"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," the CEO said.

Launched in 2017, CEPI is a global partnership among public, private, civil and philanthropic groups to develop vaccines to stop epidemics.

Novavax received $384 million in new funding from CEPI, which was on top of the $4 million the group awarded Novavax in March.

Novavax shares were rising 56.78% on Tuesday to $38.41.

Oppenheimer raised its price target on shares of Novavax to $38.50 from $19.