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Novavax (NVAX) ETFs to Rise on Impressive Coronavirus Vaccine Update

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Novavax NVAX is a formidable name on the list of companies, which are working on a vaccine. Shares of the company have gained a whopping 1,769% in the past year. It recently announced very encouraging updates on its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373. Per management, the vaccine candidate met the primary endpoint, delivering an efficacy of 89.3%, in its Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in the United Kingdom.

The said trial studied the vaccine’s efficiency during high transmission periods and with the new UK COVID strain emerging and spreading widely, per the company. Management also informed about the candidate’s favorable results from its Phase 2b study conducted in South Africa.

In this regard, Stanley C. Erck, president and CEO, Novavax reportedly said that “with today’s results from our UK Phase 3 and South Africa Phase 2b clinical trials, we have now reported data on our COVID-19 vaccine from Phase 1, 2 and 3 trials involving over 20,000 participants. In addition, our PREVENT-19 US and Mexico clinical trial has randomized over 16,000 participants toward our enrollment goal of 30,000. NVX-CoV2373 is the first vaccine to demonstrate not only high clinical efficacy against COVID-19 but also significant clinical efficacy against both the rapidly emerging UK and South Africa variants”.

Notably, the world now witnessed another grim milestone in the coronavirus outbreak as the number of confirmed cases already crossed the 100-million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Going by the latest World Bank figures as mentioned in a CNN report, considering the world population of about 7.67 billion, the number of cases registered globally indicate that at least one in every 76 people is afflicted with the coronavirus infection.

Data from Johns Hopkins University also reflects that the threshold of 1 million confirmed cases was surpassed globally on Apr 2, 2020 and 10 million on Jun 28, per a CNN report. 50 million confirmed cases were recorded by Nov 7 before crossing the 90-million mark on Jan 10, 2021, per the same CNN report. It seems like the mutations spiked the spread of coronavirus.

Moreover, the United States alone sadly crossed the glaring mark of more than 25 million confirmed COVID-19 cases with the country’s death toll surpassing 400,000. Raising worries, the new coronavirus variants that were discovered in the United States left health experts "extremely" concerned, as quoted in a CNN report. The same report also states that variants like P.1 and B.1.1.7 (first spotted in the UK) were also detected in the United States.

Buoying optimism, Moderna MRNA recently informed that its COVID-19 vaccine helped develop antibodies that neutralized coronavirus variants, which were first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa, per a CNN report. 

However, Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine might see reduced efficacy against the strain first spotted in South Africa. To combat this situation, the company is developing a booster vaccine. Moderna will first examine the vaccine in the lab and in a small Phase 1 clinical trial in the United States, according to a CNN report.

Notably, Moderna received the regulatory approval for emergency use of mRNA-1273 last December in the United States. This was followed by a similar authorization in Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, Israel and Switzerland. The vaccine is under review in other countries too.

Several millions of doses of the vaccine candidate were already administered in the United States. Naturally, management at Moderna expects the company to earn billions in revenues during the current year from the sales of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Novavax ETFs That Can Gain

Let’s look at ETFs with the highest exposure to Novarax that can gain on the positive development:

ETFMG Treatments Testing and Advancements ETF GERM

Launched on Jun 17, 2020, the fund is designed to give exposure to biotech companies directly engaged in the testing and treatment of infectious diseases. It is focused on advancement with targeted exposure to the forefront of R&D, vaccines, therapies and testing technologies. GERM holds a basket of 68 stocks with Novavax occupying about 3.6% weight.  It charges a fee of 68 basis points (bps) a year and has an AUM of $56.5 million (read: Can Moderna ETFs Gain on COVID Vaccine Update Against Variants?).

VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF BBH

The underlying MVIS US Listed Biotech 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in the development and production, marketing and sales of drugs based on genetic analysis and diagnostic equipment. It holds about 24 securities in its basket, with 2.9% exposure to Novavax. Its AUM is $523.6 million and it has an expense ratio of 0.35% (read: ETFs to Tap AstraZeneca Mega-Deal to Buy Alexion).

Other broader biotech ETFs that hold companies developing tests, vaccines and therapies for the coronavirus include:

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB

This fund seeks to provide exposure to U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and tracks the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index. It comprises 282 holdings. It has an AUM of $10.95 billion and charges a fee of 46 bps a year (read: A Guide to Biotech ETF Investing Amid the Coronavirus Crisis).


The fund seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses, which match the S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index. It holds about 170 securities in its basket. It has AUM of $7.94 billion and an expense ratio of 0.35% (read: ETF Areas Thriving During Coronavirus Pandemic).

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iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB): ETF Research Reports
SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI): ETF Research Reports
VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH): ETF Research Reports
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