ROCKVILLE, Md., July 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX), CPL Biologicals (CPLB) and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), today announced that they have formed a new collaboration to develop a novel malaria vaccine in India. This unique public-private partnership will combine the advanced vaccine technology of Novavax with the malaria vaccine research capabilities of ICGEB and vaccine manufacturing capability of CPLB, to develop a new and effective malaria vaccine. The project is being funded by India'sDepartment of Biotechnology Vaccine Grand Challenge Program and will be managed by the Malaria Vaccine Development Program, a New Delhi-based not-for-profit organization established to support the development of malaria vaccines.
Novavax's virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine technology platform will be applied to construct malaria vaccine candidates, which CPLB will manufacture for advanced preclinical studies, clinical trials and commercialization. The partners will develop and evaluate VLPs that express Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP), which has been used to develop the only recombinant malaria vaccine that has shown efficacy in field trials. After establishing the feasibility of Novavax's technology, the partners will explore the possibility of producing additional VLPs against antigens from other stages of malaria parasites. The partners believe a multi-stage VLP malaria vaccine has the potential for higher efficacy compared to vaccines based on a single antigen or that target only one stage of the malaria parasite.
Malaria remains a major public health problem in many regions of the tropical world. Forty percent of the world's population lives in malaria endemic regions of Africa, Asia and Central and South America. Despite the widespread use of insecticides, bed nets and other malaria control efforts, there are approximately 210 million cases of malaria each year that lead to around 650,000 deaths, primarily in children less than five years of age. There is an urgent need for malaria vaccines with high efficacy that can be used in conjunction with other control efforts to provide protection against malaria.
Dr. Virander Chauhan, Ph.D., Director of ICGEB, New Delhi, which will provide their extensive experience in pre-clinical and clinical development of vaccines, said, "ICGEB is excited about the possibility of working with Novavax and CPLB to advance malaria vaccine development."
Indravadan A Modi, Chairman of Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said, "CPLB will develop manufacturing processes for the vaccine candidates and will provide GMP production capability in support of this initiative." He also stated, "Malaria is a common health problem for tropical countries and efforts have been ongoing for years for its eradication. I am confident that a multi-stage VLP malaria vaccine will prove beneficial in saving precious lives by restricting morbidity and mortality associated with malaria."
Dr. Gale Smith, Novavax's Vice President Vaccine Development, stated: "Novavax is honored to be working with leading malaria experts at ICGEB and with the Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India to support the development and production of malaria vaccine candidates by Novavax and CPLB. By combining our knowledge and experience with these partners to pursue the most advanced malaria vaccine concepts, we hope to one day have an effective vaccine against one of the world's most devastating diseases."
Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company creating novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide. Using innovative virus-like particle (VLP) and recombinant nanoparticle vaccine technology, as well as new and efficient manufacturing approaches, the company produces novel 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 and LG Life Sciences of Korea. Together, these companies have worldwide commercialization capacity and 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.
CPL Biologicals Pvt. Ltd., a joint-venture biotechnology company established by Novavax Inc. and Cadila Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest privately held pharmaceutical companies in India based in Ahmedabad, manufactures VLP-based influenza vaccines developed by Novavax. CPLB has made rapid progress with the completion and validation of its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which is now operational and capable of producing a significant volume of novel vaccine doses every year. This facility utilizes the identical single-use vaccine bioprocessing system that Novavax employs at its pilot plant in Rockville, Maryland.
The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, India, conducts innovative research in life sciences for the benefit of developing countries. With programs based in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa, the Centre forms an interactive network with affiliated centres in ICGEB member states. The ICGEB New Delhi program conducts basic and translational research in infectious diseases and agriculture related problems. Additional information about ICGEB is available at: www.icgeb.org.
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.
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