ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) today announced that enrollment has begun in a Phase 2 dose-ranging clinical trial of its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine candidate in women of childbearing age. The study is being conducted in collaboration with PATH, an international nonprofit organization that transforms global health through innovation, which is providing approximately $2 million in funding to support the trial. This randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study will evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of two dose levels of Novavax's RSV-F protein nanoparticle vaccine with and without aluminum phosphate as an adjuvant. The study will enroll 330 women of childbearing age who will receive either one or two intramuscular injections at each dose level of vaccine or placebo at days 0 and 28. Safety and immunogenicity will be evaluated over six and four month periods, respectively. "In addition to evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of our RSV vaccine candidate in an important patient population, this study will be crucial for both the determination of the optimal dosing regimen for future studies and the potential adjuvant effect of aluminum phosphate, an adjuvant used in U.S. licensed products," said Gregory Glenn M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Novavax. "Previous clinical and preclinical findings have suggested that immunization with our nanoparticle vaccine produces functional neutralizing antibodies to multiple sites on the F protein. We expect to report top-line results from this trial, through Day 56 observations, in the first quarter of 2013." About RSV and Maternal Immunization RSV is the most common cause of childhood respiratory infection globally, with a disease burden of 64 million cases and approximately 160,000 deaths annually. Severe RSV disease necessitates 3.4 million hospital admissions per year and disproportionately affects infants below six (6) months of age. A severe episode of RSV bronchiolitis can lead to recurrent bouts of reactive airway disease/asthma for many years after the initial event. It is a highly contagious virus that occurs as a predictable epidemic from late autumn through early spring in the U.S. and other northern hemisphere regions and can have more than two annual peaks in tropical climates. RSV disease burden in low-resource countries is significant, and available data indicate that the virus is responsible for a high proportion of childhood acute lower respiratory infection in these settings, particularly in the first few months of life. Currently, there is no approved RSV prophylactic vaccine available. Maternal immunization is a widely practiced strategy for protecting infants in a variety of diseases, such as neonatal tetanus and is currently recommended by the Center for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for battling infant pertussis. Maternal immunization can lead to heightened antibodies in infants and thereby protects them against the targeted disease, and thus may be a key strategy to protect young infants from RSV illness.
About NovavaxNovavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company creating novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide. Using innovative recombinant nanoparticle technology, as well as new and efficient manufacturing approaches, the company produces vaccine candidates to combat diseases, with the goal of allowing countries to better prepare for and more effectively respond to rapidly spreading infections. Novavax is committed to using its technology platforms to create geographic-specific vaccine solutions and is therefore involved in several international partnerships, including collaborations with Cadila Pharmaceuticals of India, LG Life Sciences of Korea and PATH. Together, these organizations support Novavax's worldwide commercialization strategy and have the global reach to create real and lasting change in the biopharmaceutical field. Additional information about Novavax is available on the company's website, www.novavax.com . Forward Looking Statements Statements herein relating to the future of Novavax and its ongoing development of its vaccine products are forward-looking statements. Novavax cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Novavax Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. You are encouraged to read our filings with the SEC, available at www.sec.gov, for a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this document, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of the statements. Our business is subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, including those referenced above. Investors, potential investors, and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.
CONTACT: Frederick W. Driscoll VP, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Novavax, Inc. 240-268-2000