Novavax cuts full-year revenue forecast again amid weak demand

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Vials and medical syringe are seen in front of Novavax logo in this illustration

(Reuters) - Novavax Inc cut its full-year revenue forecast on Tuesday for the second time in three months, hurt by a global supply glut in COVID-19 vaccine and waning demand.

The company now expects annual revenue to be near the low end of its prior forecast range of between $2 billion and $2.3 billion.

In August, Novavax halved its full-year revenue forecast as it did not expect further sales of its COVID-19 shot this year in the United States.

The company is now "pushing forward" on developing a vaccine targeting Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 which they would also formulate as a bivalent vaccine with another coronavirus strain, Filip Dubovsky, Novavax's chief medical officer, said on a conference call with investors.

Novavax plans to have that ready in the second quarter of next year, in time for a potential surge of cases in the southern hemisphere, Dubovsky added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Novavax said its COVID-19 shot retooled against the Omicron BA.1 variant showed a strong immune response as the fourth dose and met the main goal of a strain change in a late-stage study.

Shares of the Maryland-based company were up about 1% in aftermarket trading, as the company reported revenue above analysts' estimates for the third quarter.

Last week, larger rival Pfizer Inc raised its annual COVID vaccine sales outlook, with the company looking to offset slowing vaccine sales by roughly quadrupling the price of the shot in the country once the government stops buying doses and sales shift to the private market.

Even though more than 640 million COVID-19 doses have been given in the United States, latest government data showed only 43,540 Novavax vaccines have been administered as of Nov. 2.

The U.S. FDA in October had authorized Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine as a booster for adults, in addition to the earlier clearance as a primary two-shot regimen for those 12 years and above.

(Reporting by Raghav Mahobe in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)