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Novavax Analyst Says Coronavirus Vaccine 'Promising': 6 Takeaways From Phase 1 Results

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Novavax Analyst Says Coronavirus Vaccine 'Promising': 6 Takeaways From Phase 1 Results

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) shares were moving solidly higher Thursday following the publication of detailed results of the Phase 1 study of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

The Novavax Analyst: Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Charles Duncan has an Overweight rating on Novaxax with a $211 price target.

The Novavax Thesis: The NEJM publication is clear validation for Novavax's coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373, as well as a read-through on the importance of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, Duncan said in a Wednesday note. 

The data suggests Novavax's adjuvanted recombinant spike protein nanoparticle vaccine is a "promising" candidate with a "top-tier: efficacy and safety profile, the analyst said.

He named the following takeaways from the detailed results: 

  • All subjects receiving the smallest dose of 5mcg developed anti-spike IgG antibodies after a single dose, with most responses being neutralizing antibody responses. 
  • 100% of subjects developed neutralizing antibody responses after a second dose. 
  • Matrix-M boosted response, proving to be dose-sparing. 
  • Neutralizing antibody titers have geometric mean titers of more than four times what was observed in convalescent serum. 
  • Polyfunctional CD4+ T cell responses with a predominant Th1 phenotype. 
  • Acceptable adverse event/safety profile, as well as potential advantages in stability that could enable broad distribution. 

Duncan said he is encouraged by the initial human data, which includes patients of ages up to 59.

A Phase 2 study in 1,500 healthy volunteers to evaluate immunogenicity, safety and preliminary efficacy is underway in the U.S. and Australia, with 50% of the study participants from the high-risk group of 60-84 years of age, the analyst said.

Preliminary results from the study are expected in the fourth quarter, he said. 

The results will likely closely mirror those observed in the Phase 1 portion of the study, Duncan said. 

Cantor Fitzgerald expects Phase 3 testing to begin this month. 

NVAX Price Action: At last check, Novavax shares were rising 7.49% to $110.61.

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Latest Ratings for NVAX

DateFirmActionFromTo
Aug 2020HC Wainwright & Co.MaintainsBuy
Aug 2020B. Riley FBRMaintainsBuy
Aug 2020Ladenburg ThalmannDowngradesNeutralSell

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