In contrast to the wider stock market, shares of vaccine specialist Novavax (NVAX 0.72%) were cruising higher on Friday. The company's stock was up by 1.2% in midafternoon trading, against the nearly 2% decline of the S&P 500 index, on positive news about its coronavirus vaccine.
On Thursday after market hours, Novavax announced that its NVX-CoV2373 achieved its primary effectiveness endpoint in a phase 3 clinical trial involving adolescents. The company added that there were few instances of serious and severe events, and that the vaccine showed "a reassuring safety and tolerability profile."
The jab demonstrated overall efficacy of 80% across the tested population, which comprised 2,247 individuals ages 12 through 17. Novavax stressed that it recruited people for the study who would reflect "well balanced racial and ethnic participation."
In its press release trumpeting these results, Chief Medical Officer Filip Dubovsky said, "We believe the Novavax vaccine offers a differentiated technology and option for this younger population given its established protein-based technology already used in other vaccines, and the positive responses demonstrated against variants."
The company's latest clinical trial for the vaccine came at a time when the omicron variant was spreading quickly throughout the world's population. Although the number of omicron cases are on a steep decline in many jurisdictions, medical professionals remain concerned about it and potential future variants.
Novavax said it expects to submit the trial's results for a pediatric indication for NVX-CoV2373 to healthcare authorities around the world during this quarter. It didn't get more specific. The jab is either authorized or approved for use in a clutch of countries, although crucially this list does not yet include the U.S.