Novavax surges 23% after scoring COVID-vaccine supply deal with the EU

Kate bingham vaccines UK
Novavax reached a preliminary COVID vaccine supply deal in Europe in December. Kirsty O’Connor/PA via Getty Images
  • Novavax shares jumped more than 20% on Wednesday following a COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement in Europe.
  • EU member states can purchase up to 200 million doses of the biotech company’s vaccine starting in Q4 2021.
  • The deal is subject to the vaccine’s approval by the European Union’s drugs regulator.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of Novavax shot up by more than 20% on Wednesday following the biotech company’s agreement in Europe to sell millions of doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine, a deal reached as the Delta strain of the disease spearheads an increase in cases worldwide.

The European Commission said its member states will be able to purchase up to 100 million doses of Novavax’s vaccine beginning in the fourth quarter of 2021 and in 2022. The deal is subject to approval of the vaccine candidate following a review by the European Union’s drugs regulator. Financial terms were not disclosed in a statement from the commission.

The EU has the option to buy another 100 million doses over the course of 2021 to 2023.

Novavax shares jumped 23% to an intraday high of $US231.09 ($AU312), the highest price since early May. The stock has more than doubled this year.

“As new coronavirus variants are spreading in Europe and around the world, this new contract with a company that is already testing its vaccine successfully against these variants is an additional safeguard for the protection of our population,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EC, in the statement.

The bloc already has vaccine supply deals with Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and other companies and said the Novavax deal broadens its portfolio.

Countries across Europe have been reporting a rise in cases as the highly transmissible Delta strain spreads. Infections have been moving higher since mid-June, with the seven-day average in France hitting more than 21,000 cases over the last two weeks and reaching nearly 5,500 in Italy, according to data collected by Reuters.

Novavax in June said its COVID-19 vaccine had an overall 90.4% efficacy rate. The company was aiming to submit emergency use approval documents to the US Food and Drug Administration by September.

Separately, retail investors have bought more stock in Moderna and Pfizer in recent sessions than they have since November when the companies each announced positive COVID-19 vaccine results, according to data released Wednesday by Vanda Research, which tracks retail investor activity in the US.