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NOVAVAX Announces Publication of a Preclinical Study Demonstrating that a Virus-like Particle Vaccine Provided Protection Against Highly Pathogenic H1N1 and H5N1 Influenza Strains
Date:4/14/2009

H1N1 Virus-like Particle (VLP) Vaccine Candidate Based on the 1918 Spanish Influenza Strain Protected Mice and Ferrets Against the Spanish Flu and Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Bird Flu

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) today reported preclinical study results showing that an investigational H1N1 virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine based on the 1918 Spanish influenza strain protected against both the Spanish flu and a highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza strain. The study, published in the March 25, 2009 online issue of the Journal of Virology, was conducted by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA and Novavax under a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement.

Novavax scientists designed and produced a recombinant VLP vaccine candidate against the 1918 H1N1 influenza strain. This 1918 influenza strain was responsible for more than 50 million deaths worldwide during the great Spanish flu pandemic. Mice and ferrets were vaccinated with VLPs by one of two routes: either by standard intramuscular injection or by administering a small drop of the VLP vaccine in the nose (intranasal immunization). All of the 1918 VLP-immunized animals were protected when exposed to a lethal dose of the 1918 influenza virus, regardless of the route by which the vaccine was administered. Remarkably, animals immunized by the intranasal route were also protected against a lethal dose of a contemporary, highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 virus strain, isolated from a fatal human case in 2004 (A/Vietnam/1203/2004 strain).

The H1N1 VLP vaccine candidate was made up of the hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix 1 (M1) proteins from 1918 Spanish influenza virus strains. These proteins, which were
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