Novavax (NVAX) Stock Heads Up On NanoFlu Collaboration

Novavax NVAX Stock News

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) is having a promising start to the trading session this morning while most stocks trade in the red. The stock is trading on gains of more than 7% early on after announcing that it has entered into a collaboration surrounding its NanoFlu candidate. Here’s the scoop:

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NVAX Stock Pops On NanoFlu Partnership

In a press release issued late yesterday, Novavax said that it entered into an agreement with Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS). Under the agreement, Emergent will provide molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services with respect to NanoFlu.

NanoFlu is a recombinant quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine candidate with the proprietary Matrix-M adjuvant, developed by NVAX. Importantly, the company recently announced that the NanoFlu Phase 3 clinical trial met all primary endpoints. The vaccine proved both safe and effective in adults aged 65 and older.

As part of the agreement, Emergent will be in charge of drug substance manufacturing services. This includes technology transfer, process validation and performance qualification to pave the way for commercial manufacturing.

NVAX said that the work will be conducted at Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview location. This specific location is designated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing.

In fact, this is the same exact facility where Novavax’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is beoing produced. In a statement, Syed T. Husain, SVP and CDMO business unit head at EBS, had the following to offer:

Emergent is pleased to expand our collaboration with Novavax to include large-scale production of NanoFlu, their novel influenza vaccine. Our flexible and integrated CDMO offerings allow us to work with expedited timelines, execute on simultaneous engagements, and serve varying needs and approaches of customers like Novavax. As a trusted partner, we are committed to supporting Novavax’s goals to advance their influenza program while maintaining the option to allocate capacity for a potential scaled-up COVID-19 program.

The above statement was followed up by Stanley C. Erck, President and CEO at NVAX. Here’s what he had to say:

Our confidence in partnering with Emergent comes from their reputation for high quality production and ability to scale-up manufacturing. We believe Emergent’s manufacturing capabilities will allow us to capitalize on NanoFlu as an innovative, improved alternative to traditional egg-based flu vaccines.

Why This News Is So Important

There are several reasons why this news is so important. First and foremost, current flu vaccines are beginning to lose efficacy, especially in the NanoFlu target population (consumers age 65 years or older). As the flu continues to outwit current vaccine options, new, more effective options are needed.

That’s where NanoFlu comes in. The vaccine goes about vaccination in a completely different way from the standard. In the clinic, it has proven efficacy in the elder population, and that has caught the attention of EBS, a very large CDMO service provider. That alone is impressive.

However, the excitement surrounding Novavax goes further than that. In fact, much of the excitement has to do with the coronavirus.

You see, NanoFlu was developed using the same technology that the company is using to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. This suggests that the COVID-19 candidate will also be both effective, and safe.

Moreover, the facility at which NanoFlu is being manufactured has the potential to manufacture on a very large scale, very quickly. This is not only the case for NanoFlu, but for the coronavirus candidate as well.

Considering the fact that in the face of a pandemic, speed is key, this partnership is huge news. All in all, investors have good reason to be excited about NVAX today.

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