What happened

Shares of Novavax (NVAX -3.50%) are soaring today, up 9.6% as of 3:16 p.m. EDT. The nice gain comes as the overall stock market is rallying after President Trump signed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by a bipartisan vote in both houses of the U.S. Congress over the weekend. Novavax is also continuing to enjoy momentum from its announcement last week of positive results from a late-stage study of flu vaccine NanoFlu.

So what

The old adage that "a rising tide lifts all boats" no doubt applied to Novavax as the stock market moved higher today. However, the more important story for the biotech stock is its big clinical win for NanoFlu.

Healthcare professional holding a syringe and vaccine bottle

Image source: Getty Images.

Novavax's phase 3 clinical study results for NanoFlu should bode well for its chances of FDA approval. The experimental flu vaccine met both of its primary endpoints in the head-to-head study comparing it against Sanofi's Fluzone Quadrivalent. NanoFlu also demonstrated a safety profile similar to Fluzone. 

Now what

The primary thing for investors to watch now is how quickly Novavax can file for FDA approval of NanoFlu. But the company does have at least one other key development to keep your eyes on.

Novavax is one of several drugmakers scrambling to advance an experimental novel coronavirus vaccine to clinical testing. The biotech is currently evaluating multiple nanoparticle-based vaccines and plans to select the most promising candidate to move into a clinical study in humans by May or June.