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Why Is Novavax (NVAX) Stock Up 20% Today?

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Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) is on a recovery trek after collapsing in late 2021. Recently, management said that its latest vaccine version addressing newer Covid-19 subvariants is more effective than older injections.

According to a Reuters report, vaccine makers presented animal study data which “showed their 2024-25 shots targeting the JN.1 variant that was dominant earlier this year could neutralize newer subvariants such as KP.2 much better than the older shots.” Novavax and other vaccine developers, including Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisors about the matter.

Regarding timeline, the latter two firms said that they would be able to introduce vaccines that either target JN.1 or the latest KP.2 subvariant. However, Novavax stated that it will be able to offer its vaccine in the autumn, provided that “regulators accept the shot it started manufacturing to target the JN.1 variant.”

Novavax utilizes a “more traditional protein-based” approach with its vaccines, which may appeal to those concerned about the mRNA-based approach preferred by Pfizer and Moderna. However, Novavax’s vaccine takes longer to make.

Vexing Covid-19 Crisis May Benefit NVAX Stock

Prior to the pandemic, The New York Times detailed that Novavax was “on the verge of collapse.” At the time, one of its top vaccine candidates had repeatedly failed trials. In a cynical and ironic sense, then, the devastating Covid-19 crisis gave NVAX stock a critical lifeline.

Throughout 2021, Novavax enjoyed a triple-digit price tag. Unfortunately for stakeholders, though, NVAX stock became volatile by the end of the year.

The downturn largely went uninterrupted as Covid fears faded. Still, even with the reopening of society, Covid remains a substantial health threat, particularly for people with underlying conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Covid-19 ranked as the “10th most common cause of death in the U.S. for 2023.” To be fair, this placement represents a sizable drop from third in 2020 and 2021 and fourth in 2022. Nevertheless, Covid is still a deadly virus, especially for at-risk individuals. That helps explain the rise in NVAX stock today.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare. Tweet him at @EnomotoMedia.

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