Novavax Reports Positive Preclinical Results for Pandemic Influenza VLP Vaccine Candidate

March 13, 2009

Novavax (Rockville, MD) has achieved favorable preclinical results for a new pandemic influenza virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate that provided protection against several H5N1 virus strains.

Novavax (Rockville, MD) has achieved favorable preclinical results for a new 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, showed 100% survival of mice immunized with this 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 designed to provide broad protection against several clades (or strains) of H5N1 avian influenza. 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. The study suggested that Novavax's recombinant VLP technology may be used for development of a vaccine capable of inducing broad cross protection against a variety of strains with pandemic potential without the use of an adjuvant.