Novavax Gains Following Promising Covid-19 Vaccine Trials

Novavax rises after promising results from its early stage Covid-19 vaccine trials are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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Shares of biotechnology company Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Report rose on Thursday after the company revealed that early stage clinical trial results of its Covid-19 vaccine were safe and elicit an immune response.

According to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Novavax’s phase 1 clinical trial results showed that its Covid-19 vaccine candidate induced immune responses and was generally safe in people ages 18 to 59.

“The rapid publication of Phase 1 results from our trial in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal reflects both the importance of the data and the urgent need for an effective vaccine to slow the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Gregory Glenn, Novavax president of research and development, in a statement.

Based on the positive results, which were previously announced by the company in early August, Novavax said it plans to continue with broader phase 2 studies this month to see whether the vaccine protects against Covid-19, the company said.

Novavax's vaccine is known as a "protein subunit" vaccine, which has the advantage of being manufactured faster than some other types of vaccine though comparatively doesn't produce as strong an immune response as other vaccine candidates. 

Novavax, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report and other drugmakers have been inking deals with various governments around the world, including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, to deliver millions of doses of experimental Covid-19 vaccines.

Novavax this week said that it has struck a deal to produce 76 million doses for Canada, should the vaccine receive Health Canada approval. The U.K. government last month ordered 60 million doses of Novavax’s late-stage experimental vaccine.

Meantime, Sanofi (SNY) - Get Report said it has begun a combined phase 1/2 trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine amid promising preclinical results that could put it on track to kick off its own late-stage clinical trials before year-end.

Shares of Novavax were up 5.99% at $109.06 in trading on Thursday.