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NOVAVAX and University of Massachusetts Medical School Publish Preclinical Safety and Efficacy Study of a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Virus-like Particle (VLP) Vaccine Candidate
Date:12/22/2010

ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) and scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, led by Dr. Trudy Morrison, published in the January 2011 issue of The Journal of Virology, a report indicating that a novel virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) protects mice from a live virus challenge.  This vaccine candidate has been created with technology that Novavax has licensed exclusively from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  

The publication describes the production and testing of a novel RSV VLP vaccine candidate. Immunization with this genetically engineered RSV VLP vaccine stimulated immune response against key vaccine targets, the RSV G attachment and RSV F fusion proteins. The antibody responses achieved with this vaccine candidate were equal to or better than levels resulting from infection with live RSV. This RSV G+F VLP vaccine stimulated both anti-G and anti-F protein serum antibodies typical of a more Th1-biased response characteristic of natural infection with RSV.  When challenged with live RSV, animals immunized with RSV VLPs were completely protected from replication of the virus in the lungs and showed no signs of enhanced respiratory disease.

"This study indicates that immunization with a VLP vaccine results in functional and protective immune responses against RSV.  Induction of such functional, protective immunity has been a key challenge in RSV vaccine development.  RSV is the leading global cause of infant and childhood respiratory disease, and these encouraging preclinical safety and efficacy data suggest that an RSV VLP vaccine is a promising approach and should be developed further," said Greg Glenn, M.D., Novavax's Chief Scientific Officer.

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