Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Novavax Stock Is Skyrocketing Today

By Keith Speights - Updated Jan 21, 2020 at 12:34PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Concern about a new virus in China is providing a big catalyst for this biotech.

What happened

Shares of Novavax (NVAX -0.90%) were skyrocketing 44.6% higher as of 11:56 a.m. EST on Tuesday. The huge jump was due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. This new virus has infected more than 200 people, and there have been at least six deaths reported so far. Novavax focuses on the development of vaccines for infectious diseases.

So what

Several other biotech stocks also moved higher with mounting concerns about the coronavirus that's spreading in China. But Novavax delivered the biggest gains, probably because the company has already developed experimental vaccines that showed promise for treating a different type of coronavirus.

Scientist holding a vial in a lab

Image source: Getty Images.

But it's important to note that Novavax doesn't have any approved products at this point. Its lead pipeline candidates are ResVax, which is a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and flu vaccine NanoFlu. ResVax failed to meet the primary endpoint of a late-stage study in maternal immunization of infants last year.

Novavax's best hope right now is with NanoFlu. The company recently won Food and Drug Administration Fast Track Designation for the experimental vaccine in adults 65 and older. 

Now what

Should a pandemic begin to emerge with the coronavirus, you can bet that Novavax and others will shift plenty of resources to develop vaccines targeting the new strain of the virus. For now, though, investors should focus more on Novavax's potential with NanoFlu.

The company is currently evaluating NanoFlu in a phase 3 clinical study comparing it against leading flu vaccine Fluzone. Novavax expects to report results from this study by the end of the first quarter of 2020. 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Novavax, Inc. Stock Quote
Novavax, Inc.
$51.48 (-0.90%) $0.47

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/18/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.