Shares of Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) were jumping 8.2% as of 11:58 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. This gain appears to be related to news that the company will soon initiate a phase 1/2 clinical study evaluating three COVID-19 vaccine constructs that use the Matrix-M1 adjuvant in targeting the coronavirus beta and delta variants.
Novavax didn't issue a press release announcing the planned clinical study targeting coronavirus variants. Instead, details about the study were posted on the National Institute of Health's ClinicalTrials.gov website.
The phase 1/2 study is scheduled to begin on Oct. 4, 2021, and continue through June 2022. Novavax expects to enroll 240 participants. The company will evaluate one vaccine candidate targeting the beta variant, another candidate targeting the ancestral coronavirus strain and the beta variant, and a third candidate targeting the delta variant.
Investors appear to be pleased that Novavax is making progress with its efforts to focus on the delta variant in particular.
While this planned clinical trial is good news for Novavax, the major catalysts for the vaccine stock are still on the way. Novavax plans to file for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the U.K. by the end of this month and in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2021.