Shares of Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) were jumping 5.8% at 11:46 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. This marked the second consecutive day of solid gains for the biotech for the same reason: anticipation that problems related to Johnson & Johnson‘s (NYSE:JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine could bode well for Novavax’s prospects. Novavax also announced some management changes after the market closed on Tuesday.
Novavax has already committed to supplying 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373 to the U.S. The biotech also has supply deals in place with other countries for around 200 million doses. It’s possible that Novavax could receive more orders if governments are concerned about the safety of J&J’s vaccine.
Whether that happens, though, remains to be seen. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for a pause on the use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine due to reports of blood clotting problems in some who received it. However, these cases were very rare (fewer than 1 in 1 million). The pause is likely to be only temporary.
The management changes announced by Novavax probably didn’t affect the biotech stock very much, if at all. Novavax reported that it had promoted Gale Smith to senior vice president, discovery and pre-clinical research and chief scientist. It named Troy Morgan senior vice president and chief compliance officer. The company also said that Greg Covino will step down as CFO for personal reasons but will serve as an executive advisor.
The main thing to look for with Novavax over the near term is the company’s progress toward securing Emergency Use Authorization for NVX-CoV2373. Novavax has already reported positive results from a late-stage study of the vaccine conducted in the U.K. and should soon wrap up a phase 3 study in the U.S. and Mexico.
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