Shares of Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) was 6.3% higher per. 10:56 AM EST Monday after rising as much as 9.7% earlier in the day. This nice gain came after biotechnology updated the development of COVID-19 vaccine development before the market opened.
Novavax stated that its late phase study in the UK and its phase 2b study in South Africa of coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 had completed enrollment. The company also said its U.S. / Mexico late-stage investigation “is expected to begin in the coming weeks.” Novavax had previously said that this investigation would begin in November.
You may have thought that the biotechnology stock would decline after announcing a delay with its US study of NVX-CoV2373. And that was exactly what originally happened. Novavax shares fell nearly 6% earlier Monday morning. But this loss was reversed as investors considered the bigger picture for the company.
A delay of a few weeks in the initiation of the late stage study in the USA / Mexico should not be so much if NVX-CoV2373 proves to be safe and effective. At this time, there are no red flags giving cause for concern.
Investors probably also recognized the importance of the good news announced by Novavax today. The company expects to report preliminary data from the UK pilot study of NVX-CoV2373 as early as the first quarter of 2021. While the exact timing of this report depends on the overall COVID-19 rate in the UK, has been rising in the region, which should be good for a message sooner rather than later.
The next major milestone for Novavax will be the start of its late-phase study of NVX-CoV2373 in the US / Mexico. It sounds like this investigation could begin in December, though the decision rests with the Food and Drug Administration. Novavax said more than 100 test sites in the United States and Mexico have already been selected.