COVID-19 Vaccine Developer Novavax In Spotlight As Insiders Offload Shares

Novavax, Inc. NVAX shares, which peaked at $189.40 in early August, gave back some of their gains through August and early September. The stock bottomed out at $83.22 on Sept. 8 and began to stage a recovery.

Much of the weakness seen from August through early September is attributable to the company's second-quarter results, its competitors in the coronavirus vaccine race and insider selling starting in late August that saw executives disposing of a cumulative 152,979 shares valued at about $24 million.

Even as the stock is slowly finding its way higher, there's fresh news of further insider selling in the company, which has taken the spotlight this year with its investigational coronavirus vaccine: NVX-CoV2373.

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Heavy Insider Selling Underway: Insiders cumulatively sold about 174,644 Novavax shares between Sept. 28 and Oct. 1, netting roughly $19.1 million, a series of Form 4 filings with the SEC revealed.

John Trizzino, Novavax's CFO, sold about 45,571 shares, pocketing about $4.97 million.

Stanley Erck, the company's CEO, disposed of 41,345, which fetched him roughly $4.55 million.

Novavax R&D chief Gregory Glenn liquidated 44,949 shares valued at $4.89 million.

John Hermann III, Novavax's chief legal officer, sold about 42,779 shares, pocketing about $4.67 million.

All these transactions were effected in accordance with the 10b5-1 trading plan adopted by the executives.

The SEC Rule 10b5-1 allows major holders to sell a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time.

What's In Store For Novavax? Novavax initiated a Phase 3 study of NVX-CoV2373 in the U.K. on Sept. 24, thus joining an elite group of companies that have advanced their respective vaccine candidates into late-stage trials.

The U.K. leg of the study targets enrolling 10,000 participants ages 18-84. Novavax is expected to start a late-stage study in the U.S. in the near future.

On the manufacturing front, the company is continuing to scale up capacity through partnerships. Once all capacity has been brought online by mid-2021, the company estimates it will be able supply up to 2 billion doses of vaccine annually.

Novavax has also struck supply agreements with the Canadian and U.K. governments. It has a tie-up with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd TAK to supply the Japanese government.

NVAX Price Action: Novavax shares were down 2.51% at $107.41 at the close Tuesday. 
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Posted In: CoronavirusCovid-19BiotechNewsInsider Trades