(Reuters) -Novavax Inc on Monday revealed a sharp drop in first-quarter COVID-19 research funding and said it shipped less than a fourth of the total vaccine deliveries slated for 2022, dragging shares of the company down nearly 16% after hours.
It sold 31 million doses of the vaccine in the quarter, a small fraction of the 2 billion shots it plans to send around the world in 2022.
Still, Novavax reiterated its forecast for total revenue of $4 billion to $5 billion for 2022, saying it expects shipments to key markets and sales to increase in the second quarter.
“We expect to see additional pull through within these markets in the coming months as demand continues with recent surges of COVID around the world,” Chief Commercial Officer John Trizzino said.
The comments were in contrast to several other drugmakers that have started to pencil in a slowdown in demand for COVID-19 products due to a global vaccine supply glut and a likely decline in cases.
Novavax’s grant revenue, from the U.S. government and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, dropped nearly 78% to $99 million.
Sales of its vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, brought in $586 million in the quarter ended March 31, while the company earned $19 million through royalties and adjuvant sales to its licensing partners including Serum Institute of India.
Novavax’s recombinant protein vaccine, based on a more conventional technology, was expected to persuade some sceptics of the mRNA technology used by companies like Pfizer and Moderna. However, it has been plagued by manufacturing and regulatory delays as well as a slow uptake in key markets like the EU.
The company said on Monday it plans to initiate a late-stage study to test its vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 years by the third quarter.
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