Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) is readying itself for the potential launch of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The company has built out a significant manufacturing network. But the path hasn't been completely smooth. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on June 22, healthcare and cannabis bureau editor and analyst Olivia Zitkus and Fool.com contributor Adria Cimino discuss a possible roadblock -- one that's already slowed Novavax's path to commercialization.
Olivia Zitkus: I think last time you were on, too, we talked a little bit about Moderna's ability to commercialize and that its first ever commercialized drug was its coronavirus vaccine. What are your thoughts on Novavax's capabilities as a commercial-stage company?
Adria Cimino: Well, I think it's in a similar situation. This time a year ago, Novavax really didn't have any capabilities to produce a vaccine on this great scale. It's a clinical stage company. Really, it's in a similar situation. Now, if we look where Novavax is right now. It has a supply chain across 10 countries, the goal is to produce 2 billion doses of vaccine a year. That is pretty big for a company. We're not talking about Pfizer here, we're talking about a biotech company that is clinical stage still at this point. Things are looking pretty good. The main challenge is the raw materials, and that's what's held up things so far, as far as getting all the raw materials that the company needs on time and producing vaccine. The goal was to be operating at full capacity in the third quarter, and that's not going to be possible because of the raw material challenges. But now they're saying that that should be in the fourth quarter. What they're saying is their suppliers are expected to increase capacity. Then, in turn, if that happens on time, then the company, Novavax, can increase its capacity as well. We'll have to see how that turns out if indeed it is in the fourth quarter. I suppose once they get things rolling there, then it should be pretty positive, but it's a point to keep an eye on. Again, this is a company that is just reaching commercial stage, so this is a pretty big deal for them to get all of this together on such a great scale. Things are looking positive so far.