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Novavax: Several Catalysts on the Horizon

·2 min read

Other “coronavirus stocks” might be further ahead in the development of their respective Covid-19 vaccines, but investors obviously feel Novavax (NVAX) is set to continue punching above its weight. Over the past month, shares have surged by 69%, adding to 2020’s barely believable gains -- 3,053% to be exact.

Investors’ positive sentiment is echoed by B Riley analyst Mayank Mamtani. The analyst still expects Novavax to have a meaningful role in the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and reiterates a Buy rating on the stock. Mamtani’s $223 price target remains, too, and suggests possible upside of 77% from current levels. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)

Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have reported outstanding results from their candidates’ respective late stage studies, and they are expected to be granted EUAs (emergency use authorization) shortly. Despite lagging behind the competition, Novavax’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate has also been making some good progress.

NVX-CoV2373 is currently in a Phase 3 trial in the U.K. and a phase 2b study in South Africa, both of which are now fully enrolled. While the U.S. & Mexico Phase 3 has been delayed, it is expected to kick off “in the coming weeks.”

All could serve as near-term catalysts, according to Mamtani.

An interim data readout from the U.K. study could get an airing possibly this month. The 5-star analyst expects NVX-CoV2373 to “demonstrate best-in-class VE & reactogenicity profile, thereby making the case for pursuing licensure across several nations globally in 1Q.”

While the U.S Phase 3 data will only be available sometime in 2021 (possibly 1H), the late stage study’s initiation could serve as an “incremental catalyst before YE20.”

Novavax could also get an additional boost from other programs’ vaccine data which did not quite attain the same lofty heights as Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s offerings.

“We anticipate incremental Ph. III mixed data updates noted with AZ as well as JNJ's single-dose JNJ-78436735 to possibly serve as tailwinds with NVAX's global supply scale-up efforts positioning it favorably to pick up significant demand share away particularly in 2022+ timeframe when demand wouldn't necessarily outpace supply in an effort to vaccinate several billions globally, likely on a recurring basis,” Mamtani summed up.

Mamtani’s colleagues also anticipate further upside; Given the $179 average price target, the Street expects share gains of ~43% in the year ahead. The analyst consensus rates Novavax a Moderate Buy based on 3 Buys and 1 Sell. (See NVAX stock analysis on TipRanks)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.