Jul 22, 2021 (WallStreetPR via Comtex) -- The Delta variant has become an increasingly important variable for capital markets over recent weeks. The key issue isn't that Delta evades our current vaccine solutions. It doesn't. But it does represent an example of how that might someday be the case: Delta is far more contagious than prior variants, and it is materially different in many ways, which suggests we may be facing a variant before too much longer that demands new vaccine technology in short order to prevent a return to the darkness of the pandemic era.
While the CDC and WHO don't want vaccine producers to start talking about booster shots because they are afraid (probably rightly) that it will disincentivize some people from getting vaccinated with current vaccine solutions, the conversation on eventual boosters is clearly penciled in as we consider the upcoming year.
In other words, as Mark Twain may have said it, reports of the death of this pandemic have been greatly exaggerated.
This perspective defines one of the most important playing fields in the stock market today, with massive implications for stocks like Novavax, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202614340/composite NVAX -0.27% , Moderna Inc /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -1.09% , Dyadic International, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205986917/composite DYAI -3.13% , Pfizer Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +0.95% , Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ +1.02% , BioNTech SE - ADR /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX -0.86% , AstraZeneca plc /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN +0.79% , and iShares Biotechnology ETF /zigman2/quotes/206189322/composite IBB -0.12% .
We take a closer look at some of the more interesting names in the space below.
Novavax, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202614340/composite NVAX -0.27% focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases. The company has become increasingly interesting as a play on the idea that vaccinating EM populations could be untenable on the mRNA vaccine model. Obviously, Delta has intensified this idea.
NVAX provides vaccines for COVID-19, seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus, Ebola, and Middle East respiratory syndrome.
Novavax, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202614340/composite NVAX -0.27% recently announced the publication of results from the final analysis of a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate conducted in the United Kingdom in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The final analysis confirmed an overall efficacy of 89.7% with over 60% (half) of the cases caused by the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant, and a 96.4% efficacy against non-B.1.1.7 (non-Alpha) variants which represents strains most similar to the original virus.
"We continue to be very encouraged by data showing high levels of efficacy against even mild disease, and that NVX-CoV2373 offers strong cross-protection against both the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant and non-B.1.1.7 (non-Alpha) variant strains which are widely circulating," said Gregory M. Glenn, M.D., President of Research and Development, Novavax. "This publication also reinforces the reassuring safety and efficacy profile shown in studies of our vaccine to-date and underscores the potential for NVX-CoV2373 to play an important role in solving this ongoing global public health crisis."
If you're long this stock, then you're liking how the stock has responded to the announcement. NVAX shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 18% to the upside on above average trading volume. Shares of the stock have powered higher over the past month, rallying roughly 8% in that time on strong overall action.
Novavax, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202614340/composite NVAX -0.27% managed to rope in revenues totaling $447.2M in overall sales during the company's most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 13143.4%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels exceeding current liabilities ($2B against $1.2B).
Dyadic International, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205986917/composite DYAI -3.13% is the one you want to watch. The rest of the stocks in this list have already seen massive influxes in investor interest. But DYAI has a vaccine platform in play based on possibly game-changing biotech, and it hasn't broken through yet. However, as the narrative develops, this seems like one that could start gain a share of the spotlight. It may be the only credible name left in the legitimate vaccine space that hasn't yet seen that spotlight, which makes it interesting.
It's also interesting because its vaccine platform is based on a biotech thesis that really has genuine advantages in terms of costs involved in production and distribution.
Dyadic International, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205986917/composite DYAI -3.13% engages in developing a gene expression platform for producing commercial quantities of industrial enzymes and other proteins. It focuses on further improving and applying its proprietary C1 technology, which is used in the discovery, development, and manufacture of biologic medicines and vaccines.
The company recently announced findings from the Zoonotic Anticipation and Preparedness Initiative (ZAPI) project which has been published in VACCINES, a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal.
"Zoonotic diseases represent a serious global threat to human and animal health. The majority of newly evolving pathogens are zoonotic viruses. Safe and effective vaccines that can be developed rapidly following an outbreak are required to effectively combat these diseases. The efficacy, protection and safety data reported from the ZAPI study further supports the mounting library of data - demonstrating a novel approach for the C1 expression platform to be broadly applied for rapid development and manufacturing of vaccines for both human and animals". Dr. Tchelet further commented "we anticipate additional partnerships and external collaborations which will serve to further advance our commercial objectives".
According to the release, the successful ZAPI program focused on the following goals to enable the delivery of targeted vaccines for humans and animals, as well as therapeutic antibodies for hospital use, rapidly following a future disease outbreak by identifying the best protective subunit vaccines and neutralizing antibodies against potential new zoonotic diseases or strains, such as bunyaviruses (i.e., Rift Valley fever virus and Schmallenberg virus) or coronaviruses (i.e., Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or MERS Co-V); defining optimal manufacturing technologies and processes for these vaccines and antibodies to enable high-volume production capacity; obtaining alignment with regulatory authorities and policy makers; and securing pre-approval of new vaccine and antibody manufacturing methodologies for future emerging zoonotic viral diseases.