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Novavax Reports Positive Preclinical Results for a Novel, Broadly Cross-Protective H5N1 Pandemic Influenza Virus-like Particle (VLP) Vaccine Candidate
Date:2/19/2009

Results support that Novavax's Recombinant Technology May Offer a Powerful, New Approach for Development of the Next Generation of Influenza Vaccines with Broad Protection Against Multiple Strains

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NOVAVAX (Nasdaq: NVAX) announced today favorable preclinical results for a new broadly immunogenic pandemic influenza virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate that provided protection against several H5N1 virus strains.

Results of a study conducted by a research group at The University of Hong Kong through a collaboration with Novavax, Inc. showed 100% survival of mice immunized with this broadly protective H5N1 VLP vaccine candidate. The H5N1 VLP contains three proteins, hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix 1 (M1), which are considered important for inducing protection against influenza infection and severe disease. This new influenza VLP, which was constructed and produced at Novavax, was uniquely designed to provide broad protection against several clades (or strains) of H5N1 avian influenza. In simple terms, the HA surface protein of this new VLP was modified to include the protein building blocks from several different H5N1 strains. This resulted in an immune response against several different H5N1 strains and may be a new approach to making broadly protective influenza vaccines.

In this study, two injections of the VLP vaccine candidate resulted in 100% survival of mice that were challenged with lethal doses of three different H5N1 strains including A/Indonesia (Clade 2.1), A/Qinghai (Clade 2.2), and A/Shenzhen (Clade 2.3.4) in contrast to unimmunized controls. The vaccine candidate also induced robust antibody responses against several H5N1 strains as demonstrated by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and neutralizing antibody assay
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SOURCE Novavax, Inc.
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