The vaccine race is still experiencing many twists and turns, but one company is nearing a key milestone. This news comes just a week after the company experienced a significant setback, though. Maryland-based Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) has announced that it is taking steps toward gaining authorization to administer its experimental Covid-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom. The vaccine has already been through clinical trials in the U.K. and has emerged successfully, pointing toward a promising future. Things are also looking promising for NVAX stock.
What’s Happening With NVAX Stock
Today has marked a turnaround for NVAX stock after a very poor week. When news broke that the company was experiencing problems at a U.S. vaccine production facility, shares were quick to plunge. They have struggled to regain lost ground until today, rising 8% in pre-market trading. While NVAX shot up as markets opened, it has already began to come down a bit. As of this writing, it is up nearly 6% for the day and 4.4% for the past five.
Even with today’s gains, the stock is still down more than 40% for the month. To say that the fall has been a turbulent season for NVAX stock would be an understatement. The gaining of U.K. authorization, though, could be exactly what it needs to embark on a sustainable upward trajectory.
What It Means
It’s worth noting that Novavax’s vaccine is different from those produced by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) because it is protein-based. This also puts it in a different category from AstraZeneca’s (NASDAQ:AZN), which is a replication-deficient adenoviral vector vaccine.
According to the company, this type of protein-based structure enables it well to combat different strains of the Covid-19 virus. The overall efficiency rate it demonstrated after U.K. clinical trials was over 87%, the third phase of which included 15,000 people. Both these facts would indicate that the company’s chances of gaining U.K. authorization are good. The stock’s performance so far today suggests that investors are confident in that as well.
Novavax has stated that it plans to submit the vaccine to U.S. regulators for approval by the end of 2021, a date in the not too distant future. If the U.K. grants authorization, it will likely speed up this process, thereby giving investors another reason to approach NVAX stock with confidence.
Why It Matters
Even as Covid-19 cases decline across the globe, the need for vaccines remains strong. Novavax’s vaccine brings something a little different to the table, and the opportunity is there for it to establish itself as an important member of the vaccine race, if it can gain the necessary approvals.
As InvestorPlace’s Joseph Nograles recently noted, Novavax could also be the company whose vaccine becomes a popular booster. It is coming along at exactly the right time and outside the U.S., the need for boosters is becoming increasingly clear. If Novavax can gain authorization, it can quickly move to the front of the booster race. As Nograles emphasizes, though, any success for Novavax will depend on timing.
Given the turbulence that NVAX stock has seen, it’s understandable that investors could become uneasy if the next vaccine launch takes too long. Until it does, though, this stock is worth watching.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.