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Novavax and the NIH Agree to Evaluate a Virus-like Particle (VLP) Vaccine Candidate Against the Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus
Date:6/4/2009

Company completes initial steps towards producing Influenza A (H1N1) VLP vaccine for animal and human testing

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) and the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH) have signed an agreement to cooperate in the evaluation of a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate against the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. Novavax has produced influenza A (H1N1) VLP vaccine against the strain recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Novavax scientists produced the first batch of H1N1 VLPs within the company's laboratories in May, just three weeks after the CDC announced the genetic sequence of a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. This strain of influenza was isolated from an infected person located in California. These VLPs contain the hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA) and matrix 1 (M1) proteins found in the newly emerged H1N1 influenza strain. The size and structure of the VLPs are nearly identical to those of the novel H1N1 virus but the VLPs are not infectious as they lack the genes necessary for replication. Novavax has made purified influenza A (H1N1) VLPs, which are being sent to scientists at the CDC and DMID for studies in animal models.

"The Company has committed necessary resources to respond as rapidly as possible to construct and manufacture VLP vaccine against this new H1N1 influenza virus," said Rahul Singhvi, President and CEO of Novavax. "Our proprietary recombinant cell culture technology has enabled production of custom VLPs against this strain of influenza within weeks. This ability to respond rapidly is an important factor in the evaluation of alternative investigational vaccines
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SOURCE Novavax, Inc.
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