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Why Novavax Stock Is Tumbling Today

By George Budwell - Dec 19, 2017 at 9:15AM

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Novavax's clinical updates fail to impress.

What happened

Shares of the clinical-stage biotech Novavax (NVAX 11.12%) fell by as much as 18.2% in pre-marketing trading this morning. What's going on? Investors -- or more likely day traders -- appear to be disappointed in the company's updates for both its experimental NanoFlu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), vaccine candidates yesterday. 

A chalkboard chart showing a positive trend turn negative.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Instead of the major clinical update some investors were expecting, Novavax simply noted, per its press release, that the ongoing late-stage RSV study in pregnant women remains on track for a mid-2018 interim analysis, and the company is accelerating enrollment to meet this target.

The company's progress on its NanoFlu vaccine candidate was even less noteworthy from an investing standpoint. On this front, Novavax basically provided a summary of the current state of the flu market, and noted that a new, more effective vaccine is needed. Hence, the company plans on preparing a Phase 1/2 data package to be released next February. 

Now what

In short, Novavax released a nothing burger yesterday -- drawing the ire of investors that bought this stock in anticipation of a more robust news event. Unfortunately, it's commonplace for companies like Novavax, that are struggling to meet the minimum bid requirements for the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, to release fairly minor business or clinical updates on a regular basis. On the bright side, we now know that Novavax doesn't have anything truly meaningful on the docket until next February when the NanoFlu data package should be ready. So until then, it might be best to simply watch this developmental-stage biotech from the safety of the sidelines.  

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