Shares of Novavax 09.30 NASDAQ: NVAX were 6.3% higher at 10:56 a.m. EST on Monday after rising 9.7% earlier in the day. This nice profit came after biotechnologies updated the progress in developing their vaccine against COVID-19 before the market opened.
Novavax said the latest study in the UK and the phase 2b study in South Africa of a coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 have completed enrollment. The company also said its final-stage study in the United States and Mexico “is expected to begin in the coming weeks.” Earlier, Novavax said that this study will begin in November.
You may have thought that biotech stocks would fall after they announced a delay with their latest study of the NVX-CoV2373 in the United States. And that’s exactly what happened initially. Shares of Novavax fell nearly 6% earlier on Monday morning. But that loss was reversed as investors saw the bigger picture for the company.
The delay of several weeks in the start of the final US / Mexico study would not have been so significant if the NVX-CoV2373 had been shown to be safe and effective. There are no red flags to worry about at this time.
Investors probably also realized the importance of the good news announced by Novavax today. The company expects to report interim data from the late UK study of NVX-CoV2373 as early as the first quarter of 2021. While the exact timing of this report depends on the overall rate of COVID-19 in the UK, cases are increasing in the region, which would it should have heralded a message sooner rather than later.
The next major phase for Novavax will be the start of its research on the NVX-CoV2373 in the final US / Mexico phase. It appears that this study could begin in December, although the decision is up to the Food and Drug Administration. Novavax said more than 100 test sites in the United States and Mexico have already been selected.