Novavax sinks after halving sales forecast on low vaccine demand, supply glut
By Amruta Khandekar
(Reuters) – Novavax Inc on Monday halved its full-year revenue forecast as it does not expect further sales of its COVID-19 shot this year in the United States in the face of a global supply glut and soft demand, sending its shares down 33%.
Novavax said it now expects 2022 total revenue in the range of $2 billion to $2.3 billion, compared with its prior forecast of $4 billion to $5 billion.
The shot last month was authorized for use among adults in the United States, where it was seen as driving uptake among those skeptical of ground-breaking messenger RNA technology from market leaders Pfizer and Moderna.
However, only 7,381 Novavax vaccine doses have been administered so far in the country, according to the latest government data.
“I believe we were late to the market, and U.S. vaccination was driven by what was available and shown to work, mRNA vaccines,” said Chief Executive Officer Stanley Erck.
The dismal outlook is the latest setback for Novavax’s protein-based shot, which has been plagued by manufacturing snags, regulatory delays and sluggish uptake in key markets like Europe.
Novavax also said it does not expect to receive an order in 2022 from the COVAX facility, which is backed by the World Health Organization and the global vaccine alliance Gavi.
The company said while it has seen no reduction in orders, it expects to deliver more doses in the second half of the year and into 2023 as customers spread out their orders amid excess supply.
Since July 1, Novavax has brought in revenue of over $400 million, it said.
The comments come as buyers, including COVAX and the European Union, ask manufacturers to delay or cut deliveries of shots with supply outpacing demand. Last week, Moderna also saw a hit from canceled orders from low- and middle-income nations through the COVAX program.
Moderna’s shares dropped 2%, while Novavax fell 33% to $38.80 in extended trading.
(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; Editing by Maju Samuel)