Novavax’s 3,500% Surge on a Covid-19 Vaccine Faces First Test

(Bloomberg) — Novavax Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine results are expected imminently and scientists will be scanning the data to gauge the shot’s promise. At the same time, day traders — who’ve snapped up shares since March — will be looking for the more than $7 billion surge in value to hold.

Vaccine candidates presented so far have detailed initial patient antibody and T-cell responses and compared them with levels seen in patients who have recovered from the virus. Investors will be looking for those initial immune-system responses when Novavax reveals its data, likely sometime next week.

Novavax is on its way to becoming a household name similar to Moderna Inc., another vaccine developer that has rallied since March but has yet to have a product reach the market. Recent $1.6 billion funding from the U.S. government has bolstered Novavax’s credibility despite some concern over its use of industry ties to get that backing.

The need for a vaccine is clear, with Covid-19 cases in the U.S. reaching beyond 4 million and the virus on the rise across the Sunbelt. There are roughly 25 vaccines in human testing with more than 140 others in earlier stages of development, according to the World Health Organization.

The market has responded positively to some of the first results in people from Moderna, as well as Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s messenger RNA vaccines. AstraZeneca Plc’s experimental shot with the University of Oxford was compared less favorably by some on Wall Street. Biotechs that didn’t provide sufficient detail have given back some of their share gains.

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