Unlike the first COVID-19 vaccines to receive authorization in the U.S., Novavax‘s (NASDAQ: NVAX) candidate, NVX-CoV2373, isn’t mRNA-based. Instead, it uses the tried-and-true technique of introducing proteins from a virus into the body to provoke an immune response — in this case, from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Using this approach, the company parlayed promising early results into over $2 billion in investments from the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Novavax’s bet paid off. Late last month, the company provided an update from its phase 3 study in the U.K. and phase 2b trial in South Africa, and it expects results from the U.S. and Mexico in March. While the results have sent the stock up nearly 130% since the readout, there were elements for both optimists and pessimists to focus on.