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Will Novavax ETFs Gain on Coronavirus Vaccine Progress?

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The United States has already seen more than 6 million coronavirus cases, with a death toll of at least 186,000. In such a scenario, people are closely tracking the progress in the coronavirus vaccine development. According to WHO, around 170 coronavirus vaccines are in development globally, with 33 candidates reaching the clinical trials (per The Wall Street Journal article). Novavax (NVAX) is a formidable name in the list of companies who are working on a vaccine. The company’s shares have gained a whopping 2487.4% so far this year.

Novavax has already enrolled the first volunteer in the phase II portion of its ongoing phase I/II study, which is evaluating the immunogenicity and safety of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 in the last month. NVX-CoV2373 is a stable, prefusion protein made using Novavax’s proprietary nanoparticle technology and includes its proprietary Matrix M adjuvant. The phase II portion of the study is looking for robust immune responses in older adults and is an expansion of the phase I study following encouraging safety and immunogenicity data on NVX-CoV2373 from the same.

The phase II portion will include adult patients aged between 60 years and 84 years, comprising almost 50% of the current patient population in the study. The study will enroll up to 1,500 healthy volunteers in the United States and Australia. with approximately 50% between 60 and 84 years of age. It will assess two dose sizes (5 and 25 µg), each with 50 µg of Matrix M.

Novavax is targeting to announce interim immunogenicity and safety data from the study in the fourth quarter of 2020. The above-mentioned study is being supported by a funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Novavax received a total of $2-billion funding, roughly divided into the U.S. Department of Defense’s aid of $60 million, the CEPI’s $388-million donation and the U.S. government’s OWS grant of $1.6 billion for developing NVX-CoV2373.

Novavax has also reached an agreement in principle with the Canadian government, which is looking to purchase up to 76 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373. The company is looking to supply the same as early as the second quarter of 2021. In August 2020, Novavax signed a Heads of Terms (Term Sheet) with the government of the United Kingdom to supply 60 million doses of NVX-CoV2373.

Progress in Other Vaccines So Far

AstraZeneca plc (AZN) recently announced the beginning of a late-stage study in the United States on its coronavirus vaccine candidate, AZD1222, which it is developing in partnership with Oxford University. Moving ahead, Moderna (MRNA), which is developing this vaccine in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has begun the Phase 3 clinical trial, encompassing 30,000 healthy participants at around 100 research sites in the United States.

Pfizer (PFE) in collaboration with German biotech firm BioNTech has also started its late-stage study on a coronavirus vaccine. The trial comprises around 30,000 participants and will be conducted at nearly 120 sites globally.

Novavax ETFs That Can Gain

Let’s look at ETFs with the highest exposure to Novarax that can gain on the positive development:

Invesco DWA Healthcare Momentum ETF (PTH - Free Report)

The fund is based on the Dorsey Wright Healthcare Technical Leaders Index. It normally invests at least 90% of its total assets in securities that comprise the index. The index is designed to identify companies that are showing relative strength (momentum) and is composed of at least 30 securities from the NASDAQ US Benchmark Index. PTH holds a basket of 51 stocks, with Novavax occupying the top spot with 8.4% weight. It has AUM of $467.4 million with an expense ratio of 60 basis points (read: ETFs Set to Surge on Virtual Healthcare Deal).

ETFMG Treatments Testing and Advancements ETF (GERM - Free Report)

Launched on Jun 17, 2020, the fund is designed to give exposure to biotech companies directly engaged in the testing and treatment of infectious diseases. Focused on advancement with targeted exposure to the forefront of R&D, vaccines, therapies and testing technologies. GERM holds a basket of 56 stocks, with Novavax occupying the top spot with 8.5% weight.  It charges a fee of 68 bps a year and has an AUM of $51 million (read: Direxion Debuts CCON ETF, Expands COVID-19-Themed Product Base).

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI - Free Report)

The fund seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, which match the S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index. It holds about 133 securities in its basket with Novavax occupying the top spot with 2.4% weight.It has AUM of $5.33 billion and an expense ratio of 0.35% (read: Beat the Fed Minutes Blues With These ETF Areas).

Invesco DWA SmallCap Momentum ETF (DWAS - Free Report)  

The fund is based on the Dorsey Wright SmallCap Technical Leaders Index and invests at least 90% of its total assets in equity securities of small-capitalization companies that comprise the index. The index includes securities pursuant to a Dorsey, Wright & Associates, LLC proprietary selection methodology that is designed to identify companies that demonstrate powerful relative strength characteristics based on that company’s market performance. DWAS holds a basket of 202 stocks, with 2.3% exposure to Novavax. It has AUM of $226.1 million, with an expense ratio of 60 basis points.

Other broader biotech ETFs that hold companies developing tests, vaccines and therapies for the coronavirus include the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB - Free Report) and the VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH - Free Report) .

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