Novavax Analysts Confident As Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate Heads To Phase 3 Study

Novavax, Inc. NVAX announced late Thursday the initiation of a late-stage study of its investigational coronavirus vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, in the U.K.

The Novavax Analysts: H.C. Wainwright analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated a Buy rating on Novavax with a $290 price target.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Charles Duncan maintained an Overweight rating and $211 price target.

Novavax Analyst Says Vaccine Competitive: The Phase 3 trial, is expected to enroll up to 10,000 individuals ages 18-84 with and without relevant comorbidities over the next four to six weeks.

The trial is being conducted in collaboration with the U.K. Government Task Force, H.C. Wainwright's Bernardino said in a note.

Novavax's vaccine could be vigorously tested, as new cases in the U.K. have continued to rise, the analyst said.

H.C. Wainwright is confident that positive results will be seen in the U.K. study. The preliminary study details that were provided are favorable for accelerating NVX-CoV2373's regulatory pathway, he said. 

Despite the other frontrunners being one to two months ahead, the strength of Novavax's vaccine technology, safety and results so far make NVX-CoV2373 a strong competitor, Bernardino said. 

Novavax's candidate is poised to be one of the leading COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, the analyst said. 

Top-line results from the U.K. study are likely to be a positive catalyst in late fourth quarter, he said. 

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Months Ahead Will Be Data-Rich, Cantor Says: Over 25% of prospective patients will be 65 and older, which is key, as this is one of the most vulnerable populations, Cantor's Duncan said.

The two primary endpoints of the study are first occurrence of PCR-confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 with onset at least seven days after the second study vaccination; and first occurrence of PCR-confirmed moderate or severe symptomatic COVID-19 with onset at least seven days after the second study vaccination, the analyst said. 

"Regarding the UK study, we note that the UK healthcare structure has embedded in it a clinical trial network, which we believe will facilitate rapid, capital-efficient progress in this P3," he said. 

With multiple ongoing clinical trials for this candidate, the next six weeks and months will be data-rich, providing a clear picture of the shot's efficacy, Duncan said. 

Cantor expects the Phase 3 study in the U.S. to be initiated in mid-October.

NVAX Price Action: Novavax shares were trading 12.21% higher at $114.94 at last check Friday. 

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