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Novavax Announces Proprietary Method to Create SARS Vaccine and Renewal of NIH Funding for SARS Vaccine Development
Date:5/22/2008

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) today announced that it has created a new proprietary process to develop a vaccine candidate against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The company also received renewed research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue preclinical development of SARS vaccine candidates using Novavax's virus-like particle (VLP) technology.

"Until now, it has been difficult to produce VLP vaccine candidates against SARS and other complex infectious disease targets because many of these biological structures do not assemble efficiently," said Dr. Gale Smith, Vice President, Vaccine Development. "Our new proprietary process uses select components of SARS and other structural proteins that combine with cell membranes to form distinctive SARS coronavirus nanoparticles, which are nearly identical to the human SARS virus but lack the genetic material needed to replicate and cause disease."

"This new approach to create VLPs will allow us to continue our work to develop a SARS vaccine candidate and expand the potential applications of our vaccine technology to a broad range of infectious diseases around the world," said Rahul Singhvi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax, Inc.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus and was first reported in Asia in February 2003. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), subsequent to the 2003 breakout, over 8,000 people were infected, with 774 reported deaths. While there is currently no known reported SARS transmission globally, WHO and other such agencies continue to monitor the SARS situation on a global basis as health officials remain concerned that SARS or similar disease could reemerge.

The SARS VLP program is conducted under an NIH grant. Novavax does not have the commercial rights to this product candidate.

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