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Novavax Stock Is Soaring Because a Study Showed Its Covid-19 Vaccine Works

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Swabs from patients participating in the Novavax phase 3 Covid-19 clinical vaccine trial await testing at the UW Medicine Retrovirology Lab at Harborview Medical.

Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Novavax

on Monday said a late-stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine found it was effective, an encouraging sign that there would be further doses of a medication to fight the pandemic.

Novavax

said its Phase 3 trial of nearly 30,000 patients in the U.S. and Mexico found the vaccine was 90.4% effective overall and was 100% effective in protecting against moderate and severe disease. That’s close to the efficacy seen in the

Pfizer

(PFE)/

BioNTech

(BNTX) and

Moderna

(MRNA) vaccines in use across the U.S. now. It’s also better than the market had been anticipating, according to Jefferies analyst Kelechi Chikere. “These results come in higher than Street expectations of 80-85% and clearly position NVAX as a viable alternative to mRNA vaccines,” Chikere writes.

Shares of Novavax rose 7.1% to $224.55 in premarket trading, while Moderna fell 1.8% to $214.90, BioNTech advanced 0.9% to $240.64, and Pfizer dipped 0.1% to $40.09.

Novavax said it intends to file for regulatory approval in the third quarter, which starts in July, and that it is on track to reach manufacturing capacity of 100 million doses by the end of the third quarter. In early June, Novavax said the trial results would be announced before the end of the month.

Novavax Chief Executive Stanley Erck told the Associated Press that many of its first doses will go to low- and middle-income countries. While more than half of the U.S. population has received at least one COVID-10 vaccine dose, less than 1% of people in the developing world have, the AP report said.

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