Shares of Novavax (NVAX -1.93%) were soaring 12.9% as of 11:24 a.m. ET on Monday. The gain continues the momentum that started on Friday after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to convene an advisory committee to review the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) filing for Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine.
Also, investors could be more optimistic about the near-term demand for COVID vaccines in general. Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House Coronavirus Response Task Force coordinator, warned in an interview with CBS on Sunday that the southern U.S. could experience a summer surge of coronavirus cases.
Some investors appear to be jumping back onto the Novavax bandwagon after the vaccine stock plunged more than 80% below its all-time high set last year. The meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) scheduled for June 7 certainly appears to be a hopeful sign that Novavax could at long last win EUA for its COVID vaccine, NVX-CoV2373.
Sure, the advisory committee must first deliberate. The FDA then has to make its decision on the authorization of NVX-CoV2373. But the likelihood of a thumbs-up seems to be greater than ever, as evidenced by the resurgence in Novavax's share price.
Dr. Birx's prediction of a surge in COVID cases probably isn't nearly as significant of a factor in Novavax's gains today. But it is possible that another coronavirus wave could bolster the prospects that the U.S. government could promote Novavax's protein sub-unit vaccine as an alternative for Americans who have been hesitant to receive messenger RNA vaccines.
Novavax continues to work with the FDA in its EUA review process for NVX-CoV2373. It seems likely that the agency will quickly make a decision after the advisory committee meets based on the precedent set with other COVID vaccines.