What happened

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.

So what

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. 

A healthcare professional giving a shot in the arm of a person.

Image source: Getty Images.

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. 

Now what

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. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.