COVID-19 vaccine maker Novavax to chop workforce, expenses

Washington, May 9 (BNA): Novavax will cut about a quarter of its global workforce as the COVID-19 vaccine maker seeks to cut expenses while dealing with uncertain future revenue.

The company said Tuesday that it expects to cut next year’s costs for research and development as well as general and administrative expenses by about 40% to 50% compared to 2022, AP reports.

The company has 1,992 full-time employees. A Novavax representative said the cuts will affect about 20% of that workforce, or roughly 400 people, and some of the vaccine maker’s contractors.

The protein-based Novavax vaccine debuted long after alternatives from companies like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson hit the market.

Only about 88,458 doses of the Novavax vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That compares to more than 400 million doses of the original, market-leading two-shot vaccine from Pfizer and its updated booster.

The COVID-19 vaccine is Novavax’s only commercial product. And they’re updating that vaccine for this fall and also developing a flu vaccine and a combination of the coronavirus and influenza vaccine.

Novavax, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been around since 1987. The company said in an SEC filing that its expenses have exceeded revenues since then.

The company’s accumulated deficit as of December 31 was $4.3 billion. Novavax shares jumped more than $3 to $10.46 late Tuesday morning while broader indices fell.

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