Novavax shares are falling on weak demand for its COVID-19 vaccine

Shares of COVID-19 vaccine maker Novavax ended lower on Tuesday after the US biotech company cut its sales forecast due to a drop in demand for its shots. The company’s stock jumped 31% after cutting its 2022 sales forecast in half.

The protein-based vaccine Novavax came to the market late. It has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use by adults in the US only last month, long after most adults have already been vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shots. Only 7,381 doses of the Novavax vaccine were given in the US, government data show.

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The company cited declining demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in its earnings call on Monday. Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said hurdles to getting approval to give boosters to young Americans have also hurt sales, as these applications are the company’s best bet to find a market.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is not authorized by the FDA for use as a booster vaccination.

“Boost and adolescent label acceptance has taken longer than expected worldwide, and expanding our label is our top commercial priority. When combined with global oversupply, this prompted a shift in demand for our vaccine from the second quarter to the second half of the year. and into the year 2023,” Erck said in the call.

Novavax does not expect any additional revenue through Covax, an international alliance aimed at ensuring vaccine equity by delivering doses to low- and middle-income countries. The company hoped to sell 350 million shots through the partnership.

Wall Street analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge highlighted Novavax’s earnings miss. Revenue for the second quarter came in at $186 million, compared to Wall Street forecasts of $975 million.

Novavax lowered its full-year earnings guidance to $2 billion to $2.3 billion, from a previous estimate of $4 billion to $5 billion.

“It’s just a matter of earnings and guidance. Last night’s report was pretty disappointing and guidance was cut significantly. From a bigger picture perspective, there’s a sense that the overall COVID opportunity is diminishing and Novavax just came out of it the gate too. far behind the mRNA products,” Crisafulli told CBS MoneyWatch.

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