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How to Value This Rally in Novavax Shares

Despite the market falling on Tuesday, Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) bucked the trend and was up handily. This rally wasn’t the result of its earnings that it posted after the close on Monday, but rather a Phase 2 breakthrough with its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) candidate.

The company announced positive top-line data from a Phase 2 clinical trial of its RSV F-protein recombinant nanoparticle vaccine candidate (RSV F Vaccine) in older adults (60 years of age and older).

Novavax is a clinical-stage vaccine company committed to delivering novel products to prevent a broad range of infectious diseases. Its recombinant nanoparticles and Matrix-M adjuvant technology are the foundation for groundbreaking innovation that improves global health through safe and effective vaccines.

Each year in the United States, roughly 14,000 people over the age of 65 die of RSV infections and about 900,000 have some sort of medical encounter with a doctor, visit an emergency room or are even hospitalized.

Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Gregory Glenn, M.D., said:

These efficacy data represent a historic advance for the field. This is also an important confirmation of the burden of RSV disease in older adults and highlights the high rate of lower respiratory tract symptoms in those infected by RSV in a large, prospective trial. It is clear that our RSV F Vaccine provided statistically significant efficacy in older adults, a population that historically has been difficult to protect. The reduction in symptomatic RSV, RSV with lower respiratory tract illness and RSV associated with difficulty breathing are breakthrough results. We look forward to making details of these data public at an appropriate forum in the future.

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So far in 2015, Novavax has absolutely outperformed the market, with shares up nearly 89% year to date and up over 157% in the past 52-weeks.

At current prices, the company has a market cap of $3.7 billion. Just considering the move Tuesday, the company created nearly $750 million in new market cap. Imagine if this rally had come on a day when the markets were not down.

Shares of Novavax were up about 25% at $13.96 on Tuesday afternoon, after hitting a new 52-week high. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $14.89 and a 52-week trading range of $3.92 to $15.01.

By Chris Lange