Novavax (NVAX 8.40%) was one of the top stocks in the entire stock market in 2020, running up from $4 a share on Jan. 2 all the way to $119 a share by Dec. 31. It had this magnificent run as Wall Street became more and more convinced that the company's COVID-19 vaccine would make a lot of money. And while Novavax's vaccine still hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many investors remain bullish that it will be soon.
The stock market, however, is a forward-looking mechanism. So what's in the pipeline? Novavax also has a flu vaccine with great phase 3 data. Investors are expecting that drug to also win FDA approval. But what's tantalizing for long-term shareholders are the company's plans for vaccination over the next decade. In this video from Motley Fool Live, recorded on May 14, Corinne Cardina, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief at Fool.com, and Motley Fool writer Taylor Carmichael discuss the prospects for a COVID-19/Flu combo shot.
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Corinne Cardina: Let's talk a little bit more about Novavax. So you mentioned this is one of the companies that is supplying the third world. They're sending doses to COVAX. What is the latest with Novavax? They had said that they might be able to combine the flu and the COVID vaccine. What is the timeline and probability that something like that actually comes to fruition?
Taylor Carmichael: That's very exciting. I think for all investors really. They just released their animal data. They've already found their molecule. They've already combined their flu vaccine with their COVID-19 vaccine, which both those vaccines are highly successful. They've combined them and now they have to test it all over again. So it's not just a matter of putting two vaccines together in one shot, you have to test it again but what they are happy to see is they've gotten the same response in ferrets and hamsters that they had before. They had a huge number of antibodies created. They saw no signs -- they introduced COVID-19 into these animals -- they saw no signs of it reproducing. They saw no signs of pneumonia in the lungs. It was a really good release of data and they're going to start human trials later this year. It probably will not be as fast as the COVID-19 vaccines, I don't think the FDA is going to do that super accelerated pathway. I would not expect that drug to hit the market in a year. I wouldn't expect that at all, but possibly in 2022, but more likely 2023. I think it's highly likely that you can start seeing combo vaccines in the market. You will see Novavax's and Moderna's also pursuing this, and that's, I think, where the future is going to be. The future is going to be people going to get their flu vaccine and they're going to get COVID vaccine, and they're going to get the same shot.