Static Stock Sinovаc Moves Closer to a Covid-19 Vaccine

If approved, Sinovac’s CoronaVac to be tested on 9,000 volunteers in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Author: Belinda Zhou   

Sinovac Biotech Ltd., a frozen stock (Nasdaq: SVA) reported halved revenue Tuesday during its continued trading halt. The stock has been halted pending the resolution of a legal dispute arising from the activation of a "poison pill" defense by the company.   

The Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company said in a statement that its sales for the first quarter reached $15.4 million, down 58% year-over-year. Its net loss hit $7.4 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to a net income of $3.6 million, or one cent per share, in the same period in 2019.

Sinovac's revenue in the first quarter primarily attributed to the sales of Hepatitis A vaccine and EV 71 vaccine, accounting for 40% and 43% of the total revenue, representatively.

Sinovac said it closed its vaccination centers during the outbreak of Covid-19. Additionally, the Chinese national public health institute suspended vaccinations in February, which curbed domestic sales. The restricted international cargo flights also restrained its overseas business. 

"Moving into the second quarter, sales of vaccines have gradually resumed along with easing of lockdown measures in many places in China, although the level of sales activity remains below the regular level," Sinovac said in its statement. The company said it is registering its products in over 30 countries outside of China.

The vaccines developer joined the Covid-19 vaccine race as early as January 28 with its Covid-19 vaccine candidate named CoronaVac. The company reported that 743 volunteers have taken the trials with CoronaVac and showed no serious adverse event. Last month in an interview with Sky News, researchers for Sinovac said they were "99%" sure that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate will be effective against the virus. 

In a more tempered statement, the company said CoronaVac "can induce a positive immune response." 

Weidong Yin, the chief executive officer, said in the statement that the company is investing in building a manufacturing facility to mass-produce the vaccine for global use.

Sinovac expects to complete the Phase 2 trial at the end of 2020 and start Phase 3 efficacy studies in the second half of 2020 with overseas partners. 

Reuters reported that 9,000 volunteers in Brazil's Sao Paulo have already been registered to test CoronaVac this week.