Novavax Inc, an American vaccine development company headquartered in Maryland, said the UK government will purchase 60 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, beginning as early as the first quarter of 2021, sending its shares up about 6% in pre-market trading on Friday.
Novavax said the Phase 3 clinical trial will be a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy study in approximately 9,000 adults 18-85 years of age in the UK.
The trial is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year, with the UK government supporting and providing infrastructure to Novavax in the execution of the trial. The trial will assess the ability of NVX-CoV2373 to protect against symptomatic COVID-19 disease as well as evaluate antibody and T-cell responses.
“We are honoured to partner with the UK government to deliver a vaccine that could provide vital protection in the fight against the global health crisis,” Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax said in a statement.
“Our Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK will be a critical component to assess the efficacy of NVX-CoV2373, which in a Phase 1 trial has already demonstrated to be generally well-tolerated and to elicit robust antibody responses. We are also delighted to expand our collaboration with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture our antigen at its UK site.”
Novavax shares closed over 7% higher at $133.28 on Thursday, rising about 6% in pre-market trading on the last day of the week. The stock has surged over a massive 3,200% so far this year.
Novavax stock forecast
Five analysts forecast the average price in 12 months at $227.60 with a high forecast of $290.00 and a low forecast of $105.00. The average price target represents a 70.77% increase from the last price of $133.28. From those five, four analysts rated ‘Buy’, none analyst rated ‘Hold’ and one rated ‘Sell’, according to Tipranks.
H.C. Wainwright raised their 12-month price target to $290 from $132 and JP Morgan upped it to overweight from neutral, raising the target price to $275 from $105. We think it is good to buy at the current rate and target $227 as 100-day Moving Average and 100-200-day MACD Oscillator signal a strong buying opportunity.
“Shares of Novavax have significantly outperformed the industry in the year so far. Novavax’s efforts to develop influenza vaccine candidate NanoFLu look encouraging. COVID-19 vaccine program also progresses well,” noted equity analysts at ZACKS Research, who gave the price target of $176.
“If successfully developed and launched, this can be a huge boost to the company given the absence of an approved vaccine to address the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the absence of a marketed product, Novavax is yet to generate any revenues from product sales. Dearth of collaboration contracts too remains a woe. Thus, any delay in the pipeline development will hurt the stock.”