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Novavax (NVAX) Up More Than 1200% Year to Date: Here's Why

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Shares of Novavax, Inc. (NVAX - Free Report) have risen sharply in the year so far. The stock has skyrocketed 1210.3%, outperforming the industry’s increase of 6.6%.

The company was recently in the spotlight following its efforts to develop a novel vaccine against the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In April, Novavax identified its potential coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373, which was made using the company’s proprietary nanoparticle technology. NVX-CoV2373 includes Novavax’s proprietary Matrix-M adjuvant to improve immune responses and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.

Last month, the company initiated a phase I/II clinical study on NVX-CoV2373. Preliminary immunogenicity and safety data from the study is expected in July.

Novavax received a funding of more than $390 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) for the clinical development of NVX-CoV2373.

Significantly, the CEPI is financing several biotechs including Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) , Inovio Pharmaceuticals and many universities to accelerate the development of vaccines against COVID-19.

Notably, Novavax acquired Praha Vaccines in Czech Republic for approximately $167 million in cash during May. The acquisition added a biologics manufacturing facility, located in Bohumil, Czech Republic, which will likely provide an annual capacity of more than 1 billion doses of NVX-CoV2373 starting 2021.

The company already has an agreement with Emergent BioSolutions (EBS - Free Report) to manufacture and supply GMP vaccine product for use in its clinical studies.

Earlier this month, Novavax was awarded a contract worth $60 million by the United States, Department of Defense (DoD) to support manufacturing of NVX-CoV2373. Per the agreement, the company will deliver 10 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 to DoD that can be used in phase II/III clinical studies or under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), if approved by the FDA.

This apart, Novavax is developing its nanoparticle seasonal influenza vaccine candidate, NanoFlu, for senior patients aged 65 years and above. In March 2020, the company announced positive top-line data from a pivotal phase III study on the same.

Novavax also plans to submit a biologics license application (BLA) for NanoFLu using the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway.

We note that the Novavax's portfolio is currently devoid of any approved product. As a result, it is yet to generate any revenues from product sales. If the company is able to successfully develop and commercialize its influenza as well as COVID-19 vaccines, it will be a huge boost to the stock in the days ahead.

Novavax, Inc. Price

Zacks Rank

Novavax is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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