NOVAVAX INC is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in the research development and commercialization of proprietary products focused on women's health and infectious diseases. Their technology platforms involve the use of proprietary microscopic organized non-phospholipid structures as vehicles for the delivery of a wide variety of drugs and other therapeutic products including certain hormones anti-bacterial and anti-viral products and vaccine adjuvants. Novavax Inc. has a market cap of $115.6 million; its shares were traded at around $1.68 with and P/S ratio of 108.7. Novavax Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 2.1% over the past 10 years.
Highlight of Business Operations:Also on March 31, 2009, we entered into a binding, non-cancellable Stock Purchase Agreement (the SPA) with Satellite Overseas (Holdings) Limited (SOHL), a subsidiary of Cadila, pursuant to which SOHL has agreed to purchase 12.5 million shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 (the Common Stock) at the market price of $0.88 per share. We delivered the shares of Common Stock on April 1, 2009. We raised gross proceeds of $11 million in the offering. The net proceeds to us from the sale of the Common Stock, after deducting estimated offering expenses payable by us, is approximately $10.5 million.
On January 12, 2009, we entered into an At Market Issuance Sales Agreement (the Sales Agreement), with Wm Smith & Co. (Wm Smith), under which we may sell an aggregate of up to $25 million in gross proceeds of our common stock from time to time through Wm Smith, as the agent for the offer and sale of the common stock. The Board of Directors has authorized the sale of up to 12,500,000 shares of common stock under the Sales Agreement. Based on the trading price of our common stock, we may not be able to sell all 12,500,000 shares or we may not be able to raise the full $25 million in gross proceeds permitted under the Sales Agreement. Wm Smith may sell the common stock by any method permitted by law, including sales deemed to be an at the market offering as defined in Rule 415 of the Securities Act, including without limitation sales made directly on NASDAQ Global Market, on any other existing trading market for the common stock or to or through a market maker. Wm Smith may also sell the common stock in privately negotiated transactions, subject to our prior approval. We will pay Wm Smith a commission equal to 3% of the gross proceeds of the sales price of all common stock sold through it as sales agent under the Agreement. In the first quarter of 2009, we sold 70,500 shares and received net proceeds in the amount of $121,457, under the Sales Agreement. As of May 5, 2009, we sold approximately an additional 3.1 million shares for net proceeds of approximately $7.5 million.
The Amendment restates the entire amount outstanding as of December 31, 2007, including accrued interest, or $578,848, as the new outstanding principal amount. Furthermore, the Amendment extends the maturity date of the note to June 30, 2009, permits us to sell the pledged shares if the market price of the common stock as reported on NASDAQ Global Market exceeds certain targets, increases the interest rate to 8.0% and stipulates quarterly payments beginning June 30, 2008. We received the first payment of $50,000 in July 2008 for the first half of 2008 and a second payment of $5,000 in October 2008, with a balance for the next payment due by December 31, 2008 of $45,000. In January 2009, we received an additional payment of $10,000.
Research and development costs decreased from $4.4 million in 2008 to $4.3 million in 2009, a decrease of $0.1 million or 4%. Our research and development costs are incurred in support of the development of VLP based vaccines. A portion of the decrease can be attributed to a $0.2 million decrease in employee costs and a $0.1 million decrease associated with the closing of our Taft Court facility. In October 2008, we consolidated our manufacturing operations into our facility at Belward Campus Drive in Rockville, Maryland and accrued the remaining lease payments related to our Taft Court facility.
General and administrative costs were $2.9 million in 2009 compared to $3.2 million in 2008. The $0.3 million decrease in general and administrative costs can be attributed to a $0.1 million decrease in employee costs and a $0.1 million decrease in facility costs associated with general and administrative functions. General and administrative costs for the three months ended March 31, 2008 included $0.2 million related to the allowance established for two notes receivable from former directors. During 2008, we determined that the notes receivable should be classified as a reduction of equity. We have not recorded any reserved charges during the three months ended March 31, 2009. These decreases were partially offset by an increase of $0.1 million related to professional fees associated with the preparation of SEC filings during the three months ended March 31, 2009.
Net interest income was $0.1 million for 2009 compared to interest income of $0.5 million for 2008. The $0.4 million decrease in net interest income in the first quarter of 2009 as compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2008, was principally due to a decrease in the average balance outstanding for cash and short-term investments. The average cash and short-term investment balances outstanding decreased as a result of our continuing investment in our research and development activities surrounding our vaccine candidates. Interest expense for the three months ended March 31, 2009 and 2008 primarily represents interest on the outstanding convertible debt of $22.0 million and the amortization of the debt discount of $102,000. The debt discount resulted from the amendment of our convertible notes in June 2007, which resulted in the recording of a debt discount, which is being amortized over the remaining period of the notes. Additionally, we recorded $0.9 as an impairment loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, related to an other than temporary impairment loss on our auction rate securities.
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