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Why Novavax Stock Rose Today as the Market Crashed

By Joe Tenebruso – Sep 3, 2020 at 1:03PM

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The biotech disclosed more data for its experimental coronavirus vaccine.

What happened

Shares of Novavax (NVAX 2.82%) climbed on Thursday after the biotechnology company released positive data for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. As of 12:25 p.m. EDT, Novavax's stock was up 3% after rising as much as 10.8% earlier in the day. Novavax's gains came even as U.S. stock markets sank.  

So what

Results from Novavax's phase 1 trial of NVX-CoV2373 published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed the antibody responses the experimental vaccine induced in study participants compared favorably to people who recovered from COVID-19. NVX-CoV2373 was also generally well tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported.

A person is pointing to an upwardly sloping line that's above a downwardly sloping line.

Novavax stock climbed even as the markets fell sharply on Thursday. Image source: Getty Images.

"The rapid publication of Phase 1 results from our trial in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal reflects both the importance of the data and the urgent need for an effective vaccine to slow the COVID-19 pandemic," Novavax's president of research and development, Gregory Glenn, said in a press release.

Now what

Novavax currently has several phase 2 trials for NVX-CoV2373 underway. The studies will further evaluate the vaccine candidate's safety profile and ability to elicit a favorable immune response, including in adults aged 60-84. (Phase 1 study participants were adults aged 18-59.)

The promising early results from its trials have allowed Novavax to obtain $2 billion in funding for its vaccine development efforts. The company has also secured supply contracts with multiple governments -- including the U.S., Japan, India, South Korea, the U.K., and Canada -- in recent weeks, though these deals are all dependent on the experimental vaccine receiving regulatory approval.

Thus, investors should keep their focus on Novavax's clinical-trial results. The company expects to share interim data from its phase 2 trial in the fourth quarter. 

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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