ROCKVILLE, Md., May 22 Novavax, Inc.(Nasdaq: NVAX) today announced that it has created a new proprietary processto develop a vaccine candidate against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS). The company also received renewed research funding from the NationalInstitutes of Health (NIH) to continue preclinical development of SARS vaccinecandidates using Novavax's virus-like particle (VLP) technology.
"Until now, it has been difficult to produce VLP vaccine candidatesagainst SARS and other complex infectious disease targets because many ofthese biological structures do not assemble efficiently," said Dr. Gale Smith,Vice President, Vaccine Development. "Our new proprietary process uses selectcomponents of SARS and other structural proteins that combine with cellmembranes to form distinctive SARS coronavirus nanoparticles, which are nearlyidentical to the human SARS virus but lack the genetic material needed toreplicate and cause disease."
"This new approach to create VLPs will allow us to continue our work todevelop a SARS vaccine candidate and expand the potential applications of ourvaccine 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 illnesscaused by a coronavirus and was first reported in Asia in February 2003.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), subsequent to the 2003breakout, over 8,000 people were infected, with 774 reported deaths. Whilethere is currently no known reported SARS transmission globally, WHO and othersuch agencies continue to monitor the SARS situation on a global basis ashealth officials remain concerned that SARS or similar disease could reemerge.
The SARS VLP program is conducted under an NIH grant. Novavax does nothave the commercial rights to this product candidate.
Novavax, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company, creating novelvaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide usingadvanced proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology. The Companyproduces these VLP based, potent, recombinant vaccines utilizing a new,efficient manufacturing solution. Additional information about Novavax isavailable at http://www.novavax.com and in the Company's various filings withthe Securities and Exchange Commission.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements herein relating to future financial or business performance,conditions or strategies and other financial and business matters, includingexpectations regarding revenues, operating expenses, cash burn, and clinicaldevelopments and anticipated milestones are forward-looking statements withinthe meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Novavax cautionsthat these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions,risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Factors that may cause actualresults to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-lookingstatements or historical experience include risks and uncertainties, includingthe Company's ability to progress any product candidates in preclinical orclinical trials; the scope, rate and progress of its preclinical studies andclinical trials and other research and development activities; clinical trialresults; even if the data from preclinical studies or clinical trials ispositive, the product may not prove to be safe and efficacious; the Companymay not have the personnel or capital resources to expand its productcandidate pipeline; our ability to enter into future collaborations withindustry partners and the terms, timing and success of any such collaboration;the cost of filing, prosecuting, defending and enforcing any patent claims andother intellectual property rights; our ability to obtain rights totechnology; competition for clinica