Bird Flu Deal Boosts Novavax

The CDC will test a drug.
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rose 11% after the flu vaccine company said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed to evaluate the company's H5N1 pandemic influenza vaccine candidate, including pre-clinical testing of the vaccine against live bird flu virus.

The Malvern, Pa., drug company said it provide the CDC with a supply of the company's virus-like particle (VLP) H5N1 vaccine. Over the past year, Novavax has assembled a significant dossier of pre-clinical data supporting its vaccine which will serve as the basis for the company's investigational new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Novavax is planning to begin human clinical trials using the vaccine during the first half of 2007.

"We are pleased that the government has agreed to test the protective efficacy of our vaccine candidate," said Dr. Rick Bright, Novavax's Vice President of Global Influenza Programs. "The CDC, one of a handful of premier infectious disease institutions, has the unique ability to challenge our vaccine with live avian influenza virus."

Shares rose 45 cents to $4.55.