vaccine developer Novavax Inc. NVAX The stock soared 28% following the earnings report for the first quarter of 2023. The company specializes in vaccines against infectious diseases, including COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial and Ebola. Its shares rose to $331.68 on February 9, 2021 due to its COVID-19 vaccine, Nuvaxovid, or NVX-CoV2373. This vaccine was administered in two doses. It was found to have 90.4% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 and 86.4% effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Unfortunately it was too late for the party Pfizer Inc. PFE And Moderna Inc. MRNA supplied most of the COVID vaccines to the US government at the time. Shares were punished, falling to a low of $5.61 on March 23, 2023. Before the COVID pandemic, Novavax shares were trading between $4 and $6 in December 2019. Shares returned to these levels prior to the earnings report release.
Late to the party
Novavax only received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status for its COVID-19 vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late 2021, which was its first FDA-approved drug in more than two decades. It was the fourth approved COVID vaccine in the US after Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson JNJ.
The company chose to develop a traditional protein-based vaccine versus an mRNA vaccine, which takes longer. Novavax also had to build new manufacturing facilities to meet expected demand for its vaccine after delays.
Slow and steady doesn’t win the race
At that point, people had already had their third booster shot, leaving only a minimal market share of available users. Novavax reported $1.9 billion in sales of COVID-19 vaccines in 2022, mostly to the US government. That pales in comparison to the $37.8 billion that Pfizer’s COVID vaccine sales generated and the $18.4 billion that Moderna’s COVID vaccine generated in the same year. Novavax continues to evaluate its NVX-CoV2373 for variants and strain changes for future approvals.
The company wants to supply its vaccine to developing countries…