Novavax CEO Stanley Erck told CNBC on Tuesday the company’s potential coronavirus vaccine improves its revenue outlook.
“What the coronavirus does is it moves up the timetable for us to have revenue, and quite a bit actually,” Erck said in a “Squawk Box” interview.
Shares of Novavax have surged in 2020, rising more than 1,800% year to date as the biotech company races to develop a vaccine to prevent Covid-19. The stock, which was around $4 per share entering the new year, added another 28% Tuesday morning, trading above $101, after the U.S. government awarded the company $1.6 billion to support its coronavirus vaccine development.
In its most recent earnings report, Novavax posted a net loss of $25.9 million for the quarter ending March 31, about a 40% improvement over the same period last year. However, the company reported that first-quarter revenue fell 15% to $3.4 million.
Erck said the coronavirus vaccine, which began its early stage trials in late May, is not Novavax’s only pursuit. He pointed to the positive, large-scale trial results for the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based firm’s flu vaccine.
“I like to remind everybody that we just had a major phase three, pivotal trial in flu, and I think everybody knows that there’s an established flu vaccine market. But the flu vaccines don’t work as well as we would like them to be,” he said. “Our goal is to have a differentiated, better flu vaccine.”
Erck, who was named CEO in 2011, said the flu vaccine data was released in early April and bodes well for its pursuit of a Covid-19 vaccine. “I think that that’s an indication not only that we could have a very successful flu vaccine but that same platform is used for the coronavirus vaccine. So I think there’s a lot of reason to be optimistic that our vaccine platforms will work.”
Novavax’s $1.6 billion in government funding came through Operation Warp Speed, which was announced by the White House earlier this spring. The program aims to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine development in hopes of having hundreds of millions of doses ready by the end of the year.
Erck said the government funding for Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine will allow the company to conduct further human trials and manufacture large quantities. “The scale up is starting already. We’ll plan on start shipping the 100 million doses in the fourth quarter and be finished some time in the first quarter of the year.”
The intense demand for a coronavirus vaccine has all types of players in the treatment race.
NVAX) is the latest biotech company to announce that it is entering its vaccine in clinical trials. It’s recombinant technology, already tested in a late-stage flu vaccine trial, focuses on using DNA from the virus to create a vaccine.” data-reactid=”17″ type=”text”>Novavax (NVAX) is the latest biotech company to announce that it is entering its vaccine in clinical trials. It’s recombinant technology, already tested in a late-stage flu vaccine trial, focuses on using DNA from the virus to create a vaccine.
Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia is the first in the Southern Hemisphere, and is focusing on 130 participants. Pre-clinical data showed a lower dose of the vaccine was effective, which lays a foundation for potentially greater volumes of the vaccine to be produced.” data-reactid=”18″ type=”text”>The Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia is the first in the Southern Hemisphere, and is focusing on 130 participants. Pre-clinical data showed a lower dose of the vaccine was effective, which lays a foundation for potentially greater volumes of the vaccine to be produced.
Dr. Gregory Glenn, president of Novavax’s research and development, told Yahoo Finance Tuesday that the company is aiming to produce 100 million doses by the end of the year, and 1 billion by 2021. Trial results are expected as early as July, with a vaccine ready for emergency use by the fall.
“This trial is designed to be very compressed,” Glenn said, adding that the company hopes to get into the next phase by August, at which point the vaccine is proven effective enough to be deployed.
When asked about recent surveys showing people are hesitant to be given the vaccine because of the fast pace of development, Glenn said the company’s technology has been proven in a late-stage flu vaccine.
“The less proven, the earlier the technology, the more you need to pay attention to their side effects,” he said, adding that side effects are common but the severity is important. Finding the right balance of side effects and effectively blocking the virus is what is at stake. If a vaccine were to be deployed, Novavax has a robust system for any side effect to be reported, Glenn said.
So far, though, the data looks promising, according to Glenn. “The immune responses we are seeing are well in excess of what we see in people who have (the) infection.”
INO) and Moderna (MRNA)— the latter of which is leading the race in the U.S. — are among the smaller players receiving nonprofit and government funding to develop and produce coronavirus vaccines. Pfizer (PFE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), AstraZeneca (AZN), Sanofi (SNY) with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Merck (MRK) are among the larger pharmaceuticals. Many of the larger companies are relying on government funding to scale up production of the vaccines while they are still being tested in trials.” data-reactid=”37″ type=”text”>Inovio (INO) and Moderna (MRNA)— the latter of which is leading the race in the U.S. — are among the smaller players receiving nonprofit and government funding to deve
Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi, Alexis Christoforous, and Anjalee Khemlani speak with Novavax R&D President Dr. Gregory Glenn about the company’s coronavirus vaccine candidate.
#CORONAVIRUSVACCINE #NOVAVAX #COVID19
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