Shares of Novavax Inc. jumped 9% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the company said it had identified a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. There are no approved vaccines for the novel coronavirus. Novavax said it plans to begin Phase 1 clinical trials in mid-May for the candidate, which “produces high levels of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in animal studies,” Novavax president of R&D Gregory Glenn said in a statement. The first phase of the placebo-controlled study will enroll 130 healthy adults; the first round of data from that study is expected in July. Novavax in March said it had received $4 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global organization that has provided millions of dollars in funding to vaccine makers during the pandemic. Year-to-date, Novavax’s stock has soared 274%, while the S&P 500 has dropped 17%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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