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Why Novavax Was Wilting on Wednesday

By Eric Volkman - Nov 24, 2021 at 2:37PM

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Some good news on the regulatory front wasn't enough to make investors happy.

What happened

On Wednesday, vaccine specialist Novavax ( NVAX -15.93% ) had some positive news to report. But this obviously wasn't positive enough for investors, who were pushing the stock down by just over 2% in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday -- in contrast to the broader equities market, which was basically moving sideways.

So what

Novavax's news is that the company has formally applied for interim authorization of its NVX-CoV2373 (Covaxin) coronavirus vaccine from the Singapore Health Sciences Authority. This follows recent similar filings throughout the world in such jurisdictions as the U.K., Canada, and the European Union (EU). Closer to Singapore, Covaxin has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Person receiving a vaccination shot.

Image source: Getty Images.

"Each additional market submission marks further progress in delivering our vaccine to the world, which we believe may help address major obstacles to global vaccination, including global distribution challenges and vaccine hesitancy," Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said in a statement.

Covaxin has proven to be very efficacious in late-stage clinical testing. One major advantage it has over the current global coronavirus vaccine favorites, Pfizer and BioNTech's Comirnaty and Moderna's mRNA-1273 (or Spikevax), is that it can be refrigerated for as long as two years. Both Comirnaty and mRNA-1273 last one month.

Now what

But with each day that passes, rival vaccines become more entrenched and Novavax gets left further behind. The Singapore submission is certainly encouraging, however it's a small nation and the important monster markets like the U.S. and the EU are currently getting other jabs into their citizens' arms.

Most likely, investors were reminded of that with the biotech company's latest news; they would have preferred movement on, say, the U.S. regulatory front instead.

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.

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