Shares of the synthetic vaccine maker Novavax (NVAX) tumbled about 6% during the extended hours trading session after the company reported a net loss during the first-quarter 2018 that widened to $46.4 million from $43.9 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the loss improved to 14 cents from 16 cents in the prior year. However, the company witnessed a whopping 70% jump in its revenue to $9.7 million. This huge lift was boosted by the higher revenue recorded under the BMGF grant relating to the ongoing Prepare clinical trial.
Novavax stock surged more than 70% during early April because of the acquisition rumors. There were speculations that the biotech firm would be acquired either by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) or Sanofi (SNY).
It was said that both the companies eyed Novavax’s NanoFlu vaccine. In February, the company had offered positive top-line results from its Phase 1/2 clinical trial of NanoFlu, which has a tremendous opportunity if it goes through the clinical testing. Apart from experimental flu vaccine NanoFlu, the company has another candidate in pipeline i.e. the RSV F vaccine for infants via maternal immunization. The Gaithersburg-based vaccine company hopes to offer results on the Prepare Phase 3 interim efficacy analysis by early 2019.
Novavax is ambitious about its RSV F vaccine and hopes to generate sales of more than $1 billion from this vaccine alone. RSV F, if successful, could snatch the market share from Pfizer’s (PFE) Prevnar. The company recently made a stock offering to raise cash in order to fund the operations.
During the quarter, Novavax’s R&D expenses increased 18% to $44.5 million. The increase was primarily due to increased development activities of the RSV F Vaccine.
“We had an extremely productive first quarter, including making important advances in our two lead clinical vaccine programs. We are pleased to have reached the enrollment target for our Prepare Phase 3 RSV F Vaccine trial, which clears the path for following these most recent participants and their babies, and subsequently announcing top-line results of our planned interim efficacy analysis in the first quarter of 2019,” said CEO Stanley Erck.