This week saw conference presentations by three of the biotech companies I have been covering actively on Seeking Alpha. Novavax (NVAX), Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX), and Dynavax Technologies (DVAX) each took the stage to regale investors with the latest news and outlook for their companies.
As with all conferences of this type, time was relatively short and much of the information was not really new. However, there were some nuggets of insight worth an extra examination.
Here’s a roundup of what was said (and some of what wasn’t said) during their time on stage:
NVAX: Giving NanoFlu Its Day
NVAX was first up, with a presentation Tuesday morning at the Ladenburg Thalmann 2017 Healthcare Conference.
With only 25 minutes on stage, the company had to be selective about what it wanted to cover. That need to prioritize led to an interesting decision: Unlike previous presentations, including one as recently as September 7, NVAX led with its early-stage flu vaccine candidate, NanoFlu, rather than its maternal RSV vaccine, which is in the midst of a pivotal Phase 3 trial. That decision is understandable, reflecting the growing analyst buzz around NanoFlu, but its prioritization during the presentation, and subsequent domination of the brief Q&A afterward, might raise some eyebrows.
During his presentation, Buck Phillips, NVAX’s chief financial officer, described NanoFlu’s development as “moving at light-speed”, with data from the recently announced Phase 1/2 immunogenicity trial to be made public by the end of 2017. Data by the end of the year had already been promised, but Phillips narrowed the timeline, stating that investors should expect the release in December. He also took some time to discuss the vaccine’s manufacturing process, which he described as a “breakthrough” in how flu vaccines are manufactured.
Greg Glenn, the company’s head of R&D, was also ebullient about NanoFlu, citing the “broader protection in strain mismatch years” as reason to be confident…