Novavax to Deliver 60 million Coronavirus Vaccine Doses to UK; Buy With Target Price of $227

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.

Novavax’s is among the most advanced in developing the coronavirus vaccine, but not ahead as AstraZeneca PLC and Moderna Inc.

“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.

Analyst comment

“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.”

Vaccine Hopes, EU Deal Drive Asia Pacific Shares Higher; Alibaba’s Ant Group Announces Dual-Listing

The major Asia Pacific stock indexes rebounded on Tuesday following Monday’s mixed performance with some hitting five-month highs after European Union leaders agreed on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-blighted economies.

The indexes opened higher following Wall Street’s lead on hopes that vaccines against the COVID-19 disease might be ready by the end of the year, following promising early data from trials of three potential vaccines.

On Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 22884.22, up 166.74 or +0.73%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is trading 25527.10, up 469.11 or 1.87% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2228.83, up 30.63 or +1.39%.

China’s Shanghai Index is trading 3321.38, up 7.23 or +0.22% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed at 6156.30, up 154.70 or +2.58%.

Asian Shares Boosted by EU Recovery Fund Deal

European Union (EU) leaders reached a deal on a 750 billion Euro ($857 billion) recovery fund to help the region recover from the coronavirus crisis.

European Council President Charles Michel said he believes this deal will be seen as a “pivotal moment” for Europe. “We did it! Europe is strong. Europe is united,” he said in an early Tuesday press conference announcing the agreement. “These were, of course, difficult negotiations in very difficult times for all Europeans.”

Positive Coronavirus Vaccine News Buoys Market Sentiment

Asia Pacific markets were supported early in the session on Tuesday after investor sentiment was supported by a slew of positive news on the coronavirus vaccine front.

Pfizer and BioNTech reported early positive data on a joint coronavirus vaccine Monday and another candidate from Oxford University and AstraZeneca also showed a positive immune response in an early trial.

Alibaba’s Ant Could Be Bigger than Some Wall Street Banks

Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, announced plans for its long-awaited dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong on Monday. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding’s Hong Kong shares jumped 6.59% on the news.

Ant Group runs Alipay, one of China’s most popular mobile payment apps, but has also been expanding into products such as wealth management and loans.

Ant Group has not priced its shares yet but one analyst said the company could be valued at over $200 billion.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Positive Immune Response; Target Price GBX 10,970

As expected, AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine showed promising result in early-stage trials and said it was safe and produced strong immune responses to fight the deadly virus, according to trial results published in The Lancet medical journal on Monday, sending its shares up over 7%.

Developers of the Oxford vaccine, known as AZD1222, said the vaccine did not prompt any serious side effects and elicited antibody and T-cell immune responses. So far, the deadly coronavirus has infected over 14 million people in 188 countries and killed more than 600 thousand.

Earlier this month, the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, said that they were satisfied by the immune response they witnessed during the trials.

Also, the WHO’s chief scientist said in June that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, known as AZD1222, was the most advanced in terms of development. At the time of writing, AstraZeneca shares traded 7% higher at GBX 9774.

Interestingly, Synairgen Plc, the respiratory drug discovery and development company, also announced a positive result from the trial of SNG001 among hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

After the announcement, Synairgen shares rose more than 400% to GBX 168 on Monday, up 2,581% so far this year.

Moderna started its Phase 2 trial in May and expects to start a Phase 3 trial on July 27. Our call is to buy Moderna as COVID-19 vaccine showed promising result; target price $112 in a best-case scenario.

Executive comment

“We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus, so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period,” study lead author Andrew Pollard of the University of Oxford told Reuters.

“However, we need more research before we can confirm the vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection, and for how long any protection lasts.,”

AstraZeneca stock forecast

Morgan Stanley target a high of GBX 10,970 under a bull scenario and GBX 6,314 under the worst-case scenario. We second Morgan Stanley on AstraZeneca stock outlook. We also think it is good to buy at the current level and target at least GBX 10,500 as 50-day Moving Average and 100-200-day MACD Oscillator signals a strong buying opportunity.

Analyst view

“Notably neutralising antibody titres are similar-below other COVID-19 vaccines, boosted by a possible two-dose regimen, and importantly all subjects had marked increases in effector T-cells, which may bode well for durability. View AstraZeneca share price move as overdone,” said Peter Welford equity analyst at Jefferies, who gave a price target of GBX 8,000.

Upside and Downside risks

Positive pivotal data from the pipeline including Imfinzi+treme, tezepelumab and Enhertu, growth acceleration in EM ex-China, Morgan Stanley highlighted as upside risks to AstraZeneca.

Regulatory hurdles for roxadustat, broader pipeline failure (Enhertu), operating costs exceed expectations, competitive risks to the pharma pipeline and growth platforms. Impact of China VBP reform on the legacy portfolio and impact from COVID-19 global on operations, Morgan Stanley highlighted as downside risks.

Morgan Stanley forecast sales to increase by +0.5% in 2020 and between +0.8% and +0.7% in 2021-26; EPS is expected to remain unchanged in 2020 and rise between +0.8% and +0.5% in 2021-26.

AstraZeneca Promising Result on COVID-19 Vaccine to Boost Stock; Target Price GBX 10,970

The promising result on early-stage trials of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to be announced as early as today, could boost demand for the stock.

The potential candidate is in large-scale Phase 3 human trials to see the vaccine helps protect against the deadly coronavirus; however, the company is yet to publish its Phase 1 results which would explain whether it is safe and can induce strong immune responses to fight the virus. However, many will eye the response of T cells in research as it is expected to be an important defence against coronavirus.

Earlier this month, the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, said that they were satisfied by the immune response they witnessed during the trials and were anticipating to officially publish the outcome by the end of the month.

Also, the WHO’s chief scientist said last month that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, known as AZD1222, was the most advanced in terms of development.

Moderna started its Phase 2 trial in May and expects to start a Phase 3 trial on July 27. Our call is to buy Moderna as COVID-19 vaccine showed promising result; target price $112 in a best-case scenario.

At the time of writing, AstraZeneca shares traded 5% higher pre-market.

AstraZeneca stock forecast

Morgan Stanley target price is GBX 9,000 with a high of GBX10,970 under a bull scenario and GBX 6,314 under the worst-case scenario. JPMorgan set a GBX 9,500 target price on AstraZeneca and has a ‘Buy’ rating on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock.

Several other equity research firms have also updated their outlook AstraZeneca. Jefferies reissued a hold rating; Bryan, Garnier & Co increased their price objective to GBX 9,100 from GBX 8,780 and gave the company a ‘Buy’ rating. Liberum Capital maintained a ‘Buy’ rating on shares of AstraZeneca. In April, HSBC upped their target price on AstraZeneca from GBX 6,450 to GBX 6,690 and gave the company a reduce rating.

We second Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan on AstraZeneca stock outlook. We also think it is good to buy at the current level as 50-day Moving Average and 100-200-day MACD Oscillator signals a strong buying opportunity.

Analyst view

“AstraZeneca has the highest sales and EPS growth within EU biopharma over 2019-22, with the shift to speciality care driving underlying margin expansion. Our analysis shows a 52% price deflation for drugs initially impacted by the 4+7 Centralised Procurement Scheme in China and that >40% of AstraZeneca’s emerging market revenues could face generic pressures before 2025,” said Mark Purcell, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Enhertu (DS-8201), the ADC drug partnered with Daiichi Sankyo, has very high sales potential. We forecast 2028 risk-adjusted sales of $7.4bn, including >50% probability in various breast cancer indications and a low probability for gastric, colorectal and NSCLC indications,” he added.

Upside and Downside risks

Positive pivotal data from the pipeline including Imfinzi+treme, tezepelumab and Enhertu, growth acceleration in EM ex-China, Morgan Stanley highlighted as upside risks to AstraZeneca.

Regulatory hurdles for roxadustat, broader pipeline failure (Enhertu), operating costs exceed expectations, competitive risks to the pharma pipeline and growth platforms. Impact of China VBP reform on the legacy portfolio and impact from COVID-19 global on operations, Morgan Stanley highlighted as downside risks.

Morgan Stanley forecast sales to increase by +0.5% in 2020 and between +0.8% and +0.7% in 2021-26; EPS is expected to remain unchanged in 2020 and rise between +0.8% and +0.5% in 2021-26.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) Stock Drops After Announcement Of Q1 Results

The earnings report which was released on Thursday revealed that the company had earnings per share of 27 cents which was a noteworthy decline from the 48 cents EPS that the firm reported in Q1 of the previous year. Other than the declining earnings, the company also failed to beat the earnings per share estimate of 35 cents that had been projected by analysts.

AstraZeneca’s Q1 results also revealed that it made a profit of $316 million, a significant drop from the $512 million profit that the company reported in Q1 of 2017. The firm had an operating profit of $696 million in the recent quarter which was also miles below the $917 million operating profit it reported in the first quarter of 2017. Its overall revenue for the quarter was $5.18 billion which was lower than the $5.41 billion reported in Q1 of the previous year. The company attributes this year-over-year decline to lower Initial Externalization Revenue.

Poor Crestor sales contributed significantly to the poor performance considering that they had a 38 percent decline, coming in at $389 million compared to the figure reported in the previous year. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca also revealed its revenue expectations for the year during the announcement of its Q1 results. The firm expects its earnings per share for the financial year 2018 to be between $3.30 and $3.50. The company also anticipates a single-digit rise in its products sales for the year.

Despite the negative performance especially compared to figures reported in Q1 of 2017, AstraZeneca still had some positive announcements. For example, it revealed that there was positive growth in the emerging markets by 22 percent and most of this growth was driven by China. It was also the first time that growth for the company was reported above $1 billion. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca claims that pipeline opportunities are still intact. The firm also claims that there is also a lot of excitement about its new medicines as well as their launch trajectories.

Japan and the EU are some of the key markets especially when it comes to the launch of new products but sales in these markets took a hit especially because the company lost exclusivity in these markets. Unfortunately, the company expects the impact of that loss to continue in Q2 and this changed investor outlook, leading to a drop in the value of the company’s stock. So far AstraZeneca has 6 upcoming launches and it is also planning to invest heavily in China. The company also revealed that it recently put in more effort towards focusing on its main markets especially with its sale of Seroquel.

AstraZeneca also revealed that it wants to remain focused on its strategy and this involves boosting its focus in three major areas which include respiratory, CVRM and oncology markets. the company expects performance in the future to remain strong especially since it has a strong portfolio of products that it offers in multiple markets.