Aug 9 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. vaccine maker Novavax
fell about 30% on Tuesday after it cut its annual
revenue forecast by half over falling demand for its COVID-19
shot from low- and middle-income nations.
Demand for its vaccine is also waning in the United States,
where it was authorized for use among adults last month and was
expected to be preferred by the skeptics of messenger RNA-based
shots from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc.
But only 7,381 Novavax vaccine doses have been administered
so far in the country and Chief Executive Stanley Erck said that
its late launch could have hampered demand.
The company now expects 2022 revenue between $2 billion and
$2.3 billion, compared with its prior forecast of $4 billion to
$5 billion when it was hoping to benefit from the demand for its
shots as part of the COVAX vaccine sharing program.
Novavax shares fell 29.6% to close down at $40.28 a share.
"Timing continues to be our enemy," Novavax Chief Business
Officer John Trizzino said in an interview.
He said the company does not expect to pick up significant
market share of booster shots this fall as other vaccine makers
roll out new shots designed to target newer COVID-19 variants.
Still, he said that developing its own updated version of
the vaccine will help as the company gears up to compete next
"All of the obstacles that have been in our way in 2022 will
not be there in '23," he said.
Analysts still expect the company to capture a small but
meaningful share of a fast-developing market for COVID-19
It could still be a viable COVID vaccine player in the
future $5-10 billion market as it has shown a comparable or
better clinical profile versus mRNA vaccines, Jefferies analyst
Roger Song said in a note.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in
New Jersey; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Deepa Babington)