US paid Novavax $1.6B to make COVID vaccines. It is given 7,300 photographs in US

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After a lot hype, it seems vaccine producer Novavax’s long-awaited COVID jab hit the market far too late.

In its second quarter earnings on Monday, Novavax announced sales of simply $186 million for the quarter, far beneath analyst expectations of $1.02 billion, in response to FactSet. The Maryland-based firm additionally halved its income forecast and now expects gross sales for 2022 to fall between $2 billion and $2.3 billion, as an alternative of the $4 billion to $5 billion it predicted earlier this yr. The corporate misplaced $510 million this quarter, in comparison with a lack of $352 million this time a yr in the past. Shares within the vaccine producer crashed over 30% in after-hours buying and selling.

Novavax CEO Stanley Erck blamed the corporate’s poor gross sales on a present glut of vaccine doses, main governments to delay or droop orders. Even COVAX, the worldwide initiative to convey COVID vaccines to creating international locations, has extra vaccines than it wants proper now. Erck instructed the Wall Street Journal that COVAX had walked away from an order of 350 million Novavax doses as a consequence of an oversupply from different producers.

That surplus is a disappointment to Novavax, which was a lot slower in bringing its vaccine to market than rivals Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Late to market

In July 2020, Novavax acquired $1.6 billion from the U.S. authorities as a part of Operation Warp Velocity, the Trump administration’s initiative to fund COVID vaccine improvement. In change, Novavax promised to supply 100 million doses of a COVID vaccine. On the time, Novavax had but to convey a product to market, not like different Warp Velocity recipients like Johnson & Johnson.

Novavax finally developed a two-dose COVID vaccine and secured Meals and Drug Administration approval, nevertheless it did so months after its rivals as a consequence of manufacturing delays and regulatory hiccups. Indonesia was the primary authorities to approve the Novavax vaccine on Nov. 1, 2021, adopted by India, the European Union, Japan, and Australia. The U.S. FDA lastly authorized the Novavax vaccine on July 19.

Regardless of its lengthy path to market, Novavax expressed hope that there would nonetheless be demand for its vaccine. The corporate felt that its jab might act as a viable booster shot, constructing safety towards new Omicron variants. (The FDA has but to approve the Novavax shot as a booster; solely unvaccinated People can get the Novavax shot as of now.)

Public well being specialists instructed that Novavax’s extra conventional know-how may persuade some vaccine skeptics, cautious of the mRNA know-how utilized in Pfizer and Moderna’s photographs, to lastly get vaccinated. Novavax had even developed a cult-like following of vaccine holdouts ready to get its shot.

Not one of the predictions have panned out for Novavax. “I imagine we had been late to the market, and U.S. vaccination was pushed by what was accessible and proven to work, mRNA vaccines,” said Erck

Solely 7,300 Novavax photographs have been administered within the U.S. to this point, in response to government data. (Over 357 million doses of Pfizer-Biontech have been administered within the U.S.) 

A worldwide oversupply

Novavax isn’t the one producer hit by the vaccine oversupply. Moderna mentioned earlier this month that decrease demand from COVAX dragged down its second-quarter income. In April, Johnson & Johnson pulled its guidance for COVID vaccine gross sales, blaming vaccine hesitancy in creating international locations. 

The vaccine oversupply is a pointy change from the state of affairs a yr in the past, when public well being officers complained a couple of scarcity of vaccine doses, criticizing richer international locations for hoarding vaccines for booster campaigns fairly than sharing extra doses with poorer nations.

COVAX says that it has enough doses to vaccinate 70% of the world’s inhabitants—the goal set by the World Well being Group—and that the issue is now distribution, fairly than provide.

As of Aug. 9, 64% of the world has acquired at the least two doses of a vaccine. A majority of the world’s unvaccinated inhabitants lives in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

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