Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) recently reported very good efficacy results for its COVID-19 vaccine. The company should soon file for regulatory authorizations for the vaccine in the U.S., U.K., and Europe. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on June 16, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss how big of a splash Novavax might make in the COVID-19 vaccine market if its vaccine wins authorizations.
Keith Speights: On Monday, I talked briefly about this before you came onto the segment; you were having some technical difficulties, but Novavax reported some really good efficacy results earlier this week from their late-stage study of COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
This was a study conducted in the U.S. and Mexico by the way. The company is admittedly going to be a little late to the party with its plans to file for authorizations in the U.S., U.K., and Europe in Q3. But with this strong efficacy, how big of a splash do you think Novavax might actually make in the COVID vaccine market now?
Brian Orelli: Initially, it's not going to make a big splash in the US market just because of where we are in the process of vaccinating people; everybody who wanted to get vaccinated, who had a strong desire to get vaccinated probably already been vaccinated. Now we're at the point where we're just trying to convince people to get vaccinated, and so it doesn't really matter whether we have three vaccines that are available or four vaccines that are available. It's not really going to matter that much.
I doubt anybody who has been waiting has not gotten the other vaccines and they've just waiting for the Novavax vaccine. Maybe there's one person, some die-hard that's bought their IPO and is somehow really interested in getting Novavax. But for the most part, people aren't waiting to get Novavax's vaccine over any of the other vaccines. They're all fairly good.
I think the U.S. government is just going to buy the amount that it contracted in Dubai and presumably it'll donate a lot of those doses because they won't be needed for the U.S.
The battle now is really for booster shots. The timeframe there is potentially fall of this year if the variants become more predominant and the old vaccines don't work or don't carry us through that timeframe. Otherwise, we're talking about maybe 2022 as people lap their protection although we really don't know at this point how long the protection is going to last.
Novavax seems pretty well set up for the booster market, the vaccine had 93% efficacy against variants of concern and variants of interest and then looking at the other variants, it actually had 100% efficacy against those. I think Novavax looks like it's in good shape for the booster market in the years to come.
Speights: I would think that the U.S. government assuming it continues to make these purchases at least for the next few years, I would think there will be some pretty good motivation for them to include Novavax in the mix again assuming it wins EUA, just to have some diversification and not just have all of their eggs in a couple of baskets or so with Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Orelli: Arguably, they have better clinical trial data against the variants because the other clinical trials were run earlier and so the variants weren't in circulation at that point, so the other companies can do retrospective studies. But Novavax has prospective study results, so that's good and that some of the FDA [inaudible].
Speights: Brian, is there any value that you see to having a different type of COVID vaccine on the market? Novavax is not a messenger RNA vaccine like Pfizer's and Moderna's for example.
Orelli: I don't know if it matters that much. I mean, maybe for raw ingredient issues, they're not competing against those necessarily, so that might be an advantage to having more than one type.