Novavax has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the vaccine alliance, Gavi, to provide 1.1 billion doses of its recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, for the COVAX facility.
Novavax (NVAX) shares were up by about 4.8% and closed at $277.88 on Feb. 19. As part of the agreement, the biotechnology company along with the Serum Institute of India (SII) will manufacture and distribute the vaccine doses globally. SII will manufacture and distribute the vaccine doses under the existing agreement between Gavi and SII.
Novavax’s CEO, Stanley C. Erck said, “We are proud to partner with all the COVAX collaborators and Serum Institute of India to provide global public health leadership and ensure that all countries have broad access to NVX-CoV2373. Novavax will play a critical role in the worldwide effort to provide access to safe and effective vaccines to end the pandemic.”
Currently, Novavax’s NVX-CoV2373 is participating in two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials in the US, Mexico and the UK. In January, the company had reported positive interim efficacy data from the vaccine’s trial in the UK. (See Novavax stock analysis on TipRanks)
NVX‑CoV2373 is a stable, prefusion protein made using Novavax’s recombinant protein nanoparticle technology and includes the company’s proprietary Matrix‑M adjuvant. The purified protein is encoded by the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and is produced in insect cells. It is stable at 2°C to 8°C and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that allows distribution using standard vaccine supply chain channels.
On Feb. 17, B. Riley Financial analyst Mayank Mamtani raised the stock’s price target from $334 to $397 and reiterated a Buy rating. Mamtani said in a note to investors that the price target hike factors in “continued strength in execution on NVX-CoV2373 activities pertaining to clinical development, global regulatory filings, manufacturing scale-up, and commercial readiness.”
Mamtani added, “we anticipate two near-term catalysts, in the form of the 3/1 earnings call and imminent FDA’s official guidance focused on vaccine development efforts against emerging variants, to help draw full appreciation from the Street of breakthrough potential of ‘2373 and the underlying protein subunit platform.”
Overall, analysts are bullish on the stock with a Strong Buy consensus rating. This is based on 5 analysts recommending a Buy. The average analyst price target of $287.40 implies 3.4% upside potential to current levels.
According to the TipRanks Smart Score system, Novavax scores a “Perfect 10” indicating that the stock has a high likelihood of outperforming the market.
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