Novavax Stock (NVAX): Should I Buy It Now? 

By Amit Chowdhry ● September 7, 2020
  • Should you buy Novavax stock (NASDAQ: NVAX) now? Here is some information to help you decide.

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) has been one of the most actively traded stocks during the pandemic as the company has been developing a coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this month, The New England Journal of Medicine published details about the NVX-CoV2373 coronavirus vaccine candidate inducing antibodies in all participants treated during the phase 1 trial. 

Patients that were given the vaccine along with the Matrix-M adjuvant had developed antibodies that are able to bind to the novel coronavirus at a similar level to patients who were exposed to the coronavirus, but were asymptomatic. And after receiving a booster dose, the antibody levels had increased at least 6 times what was seen in symptomatic outpatient patients who had COVID-19 and reached similar levels to patients who were hospitalized with the coronavirus according to Fool.com. Novavax looked at neutralizing antibodies, which bound to the novel coronavirus in a way that blocks the virus from infecting the patient’s cells. And after the second vaccination, participants receiving the adjuvanted vaccine had levels of neutralizing antibodies that were 4 times greater than symptomatic outpatients with COVID-19 and about half the levels seen in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Along with inducing the production of antibodies, the adjuvanted vaccine had induced a response from T cells, which seeks out infected cells and destroys them before the infection can spread.

Novavax has already started the phase 2 portion of the study in the U.S. and Australia. And it is testing the vaccine in a phase 2b study in South Africa.

This study is going to enroll up to 1,500 healthy volunteers with approximately 50% between 60 and 84 years of age. And it will assess two dose sizes (5 and 25 µg), each with 50 µg of Matrix M.

During Q4 2020, Novavax is targeting to announce interim immunogenicity and safety data from the study. And the study is being supported by funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). 

Novavax received a total of about $2 billion funding for the vaccine, which is roughly divided into the U.S. Department of Defense’s aid of $60 million, CEPI’s $388 million donation, and the U.S. government’s OWS grant of $1.6 billion.

Novavax also reached an agreement in principle with the Canadian government, which is planning to buy up to 76 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373. And last month, Novavax signed a Heads of Terms (Term Sheet) with the government of the United Kingdom for supplying 60 million doses of NVX-CoV2373.

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) Stock Performance

Here is how the Novavax stock price performed over several periods of time:

1-Day: -9.82%

5-Day: -13.82%

1-Month: -40.87%

3-Month: +108.08%

6-Month: +720.94%

YTD: +2,234.92%

1-Year: +1,577.44%

5-Year: -54.71%

Since going public: Over 23%

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX): Should I Buy It Now?

Novavax does not seem to fit my strategy of buying and holding for the long-term so I am keeping a small position in the company for now. Although Novavax does better than many of the other biotech stocks I have seen, the Novavax stock price has not been showing consistent gains since it went public.

If you bought this stock in 2019, then you may have seen a significant return-on-investment at a solid average cost-per-share. For most of 2019, the stock price was trading at under $10 per share before rising back up again to between $90 and $100 now.

In an analyst consensus that I read: 4 analysts are saying the company is a buy; 1 is neutral; and 1 says strong sell. I own a little bit of Novavax in my portfolio and I might increase my position in the company depending on how it performs going forward. 

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Charles Duncan recently assigned an Overweight rating on Novaxax with a $211 price target. Duncan said that he is encouraged by the initial human data in the study. And Cantor Fitzgerald expects Phase 3 testing to start this month.

Depending on your financial strategy, it might be worth having a little bit of NVAX in your portfolio since you never know what could happen in the next few years as the demand for a coronavirus vaccine keeps increasing.

Disclosure: I own a few NVAX shares. I wrote this article myself and I do not have any business relationship with any company whose stock I write about. I am not a financial advisor and all articles are my opinion. You should do your own due diligence and consider talking to a financial professional before investing.