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Novavax Announces Selection of a Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine Candidate for Advanced Preclinical Studies
Date:7/22/2009

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) announced today final selection of a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine candidate that will be advanced into additional preclinical studies to support an Investigational New Drug (IND) application. As previously announced, Novavax has been evaluating a number of RSV vaccine candidates, all of which have successfully induced antibody responses in mice. Novavax scientists have now engineered a new vaccine candidate which has been shown to protect mice against RSV disease and can be produced at sufficient yields to allow commercial manufacture. This new candidate is directed against a protein on the surface of the virus, the "F" or "fusion" protein, which is the protein that the virus uses to infect and fuse with cells in the respiratory tract and cause disease.

The new RSV-F vaccine candidate consists of novel three-dimensional particles containing the F protein. The structure of the F protein in these particles is identical to the configuration in which it exists on the surface of the native virus. The particle nature of the vaccine holds the promise for inducing a broad set of immune responses including antibody and cell mediated immune responses to prevent infection of the respiratory tract and attack respiratory cells that may already be infected with RSV.

The first preclinical study of this new vaccine candidate in mice showed that it induced production of antibodies that neutralized live RSV. In addition, the vaccine protected mice against replication of RSV in the lungs. The study included groups of mice that received two injections of RSV-F vaccine at doses of 1, 10, or 30 micrograms with and without adjuvant. The study showed that the RSV-F vaccine induced neutralizing antibody response
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