Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Md.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Novavax shares were plunging more than 15% Tuesday after the company acknowledged to Reuters that it has completed delivery of only about 10 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine—far fewer than expected.
Novavax (ticker: NVAX) said as recently as last month that it had committed to distributing 2 billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine around the globe. In a presentation at an investor conference in January, the company’s CEO, Stanley Erck, said that its global manufacturing and supply network “supports over 2 billion annual doses of capacity.”
Novavax shares were down 15.5%, at $80.13, in recent trading, while the S&P 500 was down 0.2%. The shares are down 43% so far this year and 74% over the past 12 months.
Novavax shocked investors in early 2021 when it presented surprisingly positive data on its Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine isn’t a messenger RNA-based vaccine, like those developed by Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA), but rather a so-called protein subunit vaccine, a more-established approach.
The company has no other authorized or approved products. At the start of 2020, it had a market value of roughly $100 million. It is now valued at $7.2 billion.
Since early 2021, Novavax has repeatedly stumbled in its effort to get doses of its vaccines manufactured and delivered to healthcare providers.
The vaccine isn’t yet authorized in the U.S., though the company finally submitted a request for an emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in late January. The company has received emergency-use authorizations from a number of nations, including India, the Philippines, and Indonesia, as well as the World Health Organization.
In October, Politico reported on production issues at Novavax, which the outlet said were keeping the company from meeting its supply commitment to Covax, an international consortium organized to deliver vaccines to low-income counties.
According to the new report from Reuters, shipments Novavax expected to deliver in the first quarter are now delayed. An official in the Philippines had said that the country had received none of the 30 million doses it had ordered, Reuters reported.
Novavax acknowledged to Reuters that it had only delivered 10 million doses, and said that shipments had been delayed by regulatory processes. It said that in some cases, doses are sitting in distribution centers, ready to be sent out.
Novavax didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Barron’s.
The company announced last week that its Covid-19 vaccine had received provisional approval from New Zealand’s medicines safety regulator, and that the U.K. medicines regulator had granted the vaccine conditional marketing authorization.
Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at email@example.com