Novavax (NSDQ:NVAX) saw its stock jump more than 20% in afternoon trading after the European Commission agreed to purchase up to 200 million doses of its vaccine.
The Gaithersburg, Md.–based vaccine maker announced in March that its NVX-CoV2373 vaccine was 96.4% effective against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain in a U.K. trial. The efficacy in a later trial conducted in the U.S. and Mexico was 90.4%, according to a June NIH press release.
But the company had been slow to get its vaccine onto the market. In the U.S., the company plans on filing for emergency use authorization in late September.
The European Commission announced that it initially plans on purchasing up to 100 million doses of the Novavax shot. If needed, it could purchase an additional 100 million doses until 2023. It would be eligible to place its first order in the fourth quarter of the year.
“We thank the European Commission for their partnership in this important step to expand vaccine options for the citizens of Europe and globally as we work to bring the first COVID-19 protein subunit vaccine to the market,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and CEO of Novavax, in a statement.
Erck added that clinical evidence suggests that its vaccine offers strong protection against variants of concern and interest.
Novavax plans to submit regulatory paperwork for its COVID-19 vaccine in the third quarter of the year.
Novavax’s launch of its vaccine in Europe comes as the EU seeks to diversify its vaccine stock. At present, four vaccines have won conditional marketing authorization in the EU. Comirnaty from Pfizer and BioNTech, COVID-19 vaccine Janssen, Spikevax from Moderna and Vaxzevria from AstraZeneca.
Several countries in the EU have aimed to reduce their use of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca and Janssen amid the risk of rarer blood clots.
Still, Novavax is likely to remain a relatively uncommon vaccine in the EU, which has reserved 2.4 billion doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and another 460 million from Moderna.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Infectious Disease