Despite some good regulatory news for Novavax (NVAX 8.18%), the company's investors were a gloomy bunch on Thursday. The vaccine-focused biotech won approval for its coronavirus jab in North America -- just not the largest market on the continent. As a result, its share price took a nearly 4% hit on the day.
This morning, Novavax announced that Health Canada, that nation's healthcare-industry regulator, has authorized its Nuvaxovid COVID vaccine for people aged 18 and older. The company didn't hesitate to mention that Nuvaxovid is the first, and so far only, protein-based vaccine to get such a nod in Canada. (The most popular vaccines rely on "training" the body's mRNA to do their work.)
This move was entirely expected by both Novavax and Canadian authorities. Nuvaxovid has not only tested very well in clinical trials, it has also been authorized or approved in numerous jurisdictions around the globe.
Obviously anticipating authorization, the company and the government signed an advance purchase agreement for 52 million doses of the vaccine back in January 2021. That agreement also provides an option for up to an additional 24 million doses.
"We are proud that Canada is part of the growing list of regions to authorize Nuvaxovid and that Canadians will have a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine option," the company quoted its CEO Stanley Erck as saying.
Canada's green light comes three days after Singapore made a similar move with the jab, granting it conditional marketing authorization. It's been a week of double wins for Novavax, then.
As ever with the company and its jab, though, there's a real "missing the boat" sensation here.
First, the current wave of the pandemic seems to be ebbing quickly, with both cases and deaths dropping precipitously in many jurisdictions. Second, Nuvaxovid still hasn't won authorization or approval in the key North American market -- the U.S., of course. Most likely, Novavax will need to deliver more powerfully positive news to win back investor love.