Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ: DVAX) stock was down 6.3% as of 11:26 a.m. EDT, while shares of Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) and Vaxart (NASDAQ: VXRT) were falling 7.8% and 10.6%, respectively. The declines for the biotech stocks appear to merely be run-of-the-mill volatility on a day when the overall stock market was down. Sales of its Heplisav-B hepatitis B vaccine were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 11, Vaxart (NASDAQ: VXRT) stock skyrocketed 22% after Piper Sandler analyst Yasmeen Rahimi initiated coverage of the company with a price target of $18. In setting the price target, the analyst cited the validation of the company's novel adenoviral platform, Ad5, in 200 clinical studies. Vaxart is using the technology to develop a novel, pill-based oral coronavirus vaccine candidate.
The company said in a filing last week that over 80% of its shares were held by retail investors. Rallies in AMC and video game retailer GameStop, as well as a fresh crop of so-called meme stocks - companies popular with retail investors congregating on forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets - have breathed fresh life into a frenzy that first garnered widespread attention in January, when an unwind of bearish bets helped send GameStop’s shares up more than 1,600% that month. Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp told CNBC on Monday that the “craziest mix of fiscal and monetary policy” has helped fuel the blistering rallies in some meme stocks as well as other assets, such as special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.