ROCKVILLE, Md., March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) announced today that Maryland State Governor Martin O'Malley will visit the company's headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, on Monday, March 7, to celebrate the recently announced contract valued at up to $179 million. The Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the contract to Novavax for the advanced clinical and manufacturing development of recombinant vaccines for the prevention of seasonal and pandemic influenza. "The Governor's recognition of our award is a tremendous honor to the employees of Novavax and an acknowledgement of the importance of both this contract award and the company's contribution to the State of Maryland," said Novavax's President and CEO Dr. Rahul Singhvi. "We are thrilled to formally celebrate our partnership with BARDA, which will accelerate the development of a recombinant influenza vaccine solution and help the U.S. government prepare for potential influenza pandemics." During the contract's 3-year base period, valued at $97 million, Novavax will continue its development of its novel, clinical-stage, recombinant virus-like-particle (VLP) influenza vaccines to address BARDA's commitment to advancing recombinant-based technology and pandemic preparedness. The contract has a 24-month option period with $82 million in additional funding to build on the work Novavax accomplishes during the base period and to support manufacturing scale-up and licensure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "On behalf of all Marylanders, I am so proud to congratulate Novavax on their federal award," said Governor O'Malley. "Their leadership in innovation and discovery is exactly what we need to compete and win in the new economy and their contributions are proof of what biotechnology and life sciences can mean to the future of our State and our nation. I'd like to thank Dr. Singhvi and all of the Novavax employees for their commitment and dedication to this important healing and lifesaving work."