Novavax Names Dr. Penny Heaton Chief Medical Officer
MALVERN, Pa., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) today named Penny Heaton, M.D., to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer, effective Oct. 9. Dr. Heaton joins the company after a seven-year career at Merck & Co.'s Research Laboratories, where she served as Senior Director of Vaccines Clinical Research.
Dr. Heaton will be responsible for all medical and regulatory affairs and will lead the clinical development programs for Novavax's pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines. Dr. Heaton will report directly to Novavax President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Rahul Singhvi.
While at Merck, Dr. Heaton, 42, oversaw the clinical development and global regulatory filings and approval process for RotaTeq, the company's vaccine for Rotavirus, which has been filed in more than 100 countries. Dr. Heaton was Merck's primary presenter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel that recommended and obtained approval of the vaccine.
"All of us at Novavax welcome Penny to the company, and I'm confident that the depth of her vaccine development experience will add tremendous value to our efforts to move our unique virus-like particle vaccines into clinical trials," Dr. Singhvi said. Novavax's pandemic influenza vaccine is expected to enter human clinical trials sometime during the first half of 2007.
"From my experience working with Penny at Merck, I know her to be an extraordinarily tenacious and dedicated clinician with a passion for vaccines and for driving new projects to highly successful outcomes," Dr. Singhvi said.
"I am excited to help Novavax create the next generation of vaccines," Dr. Heaton said. "Novavax's VLP technology holds tremendous promise for creating highly potent and safe vaccines that ultimately could save millions of lives around the globe."
A graduate of the University of the Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, Dr. Heaton began her career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a medical officer in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. She was responsible for investigating disease outbreaks as well as conducting surveillance and epidemiologic studies.
Dr. Heaton is a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Novavax Inc. is committed to leading the global fight against infectious disease by creating novel, highly potent vaccines that are safer and more effective than current preventive options. Using the company's proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) and Novasome(R) adjuvant technologies, Novavax is developing vaccines to protect against H5N1 pandemic influenza, seasonal flu and other viral diseases. Novavax's particulate vaccines closely match disease-causing viruses while lacking the genetic material to cause disease, which provides potential for greater immune protection at lower doses than current vaccines. With an exclusive portable manufacturing system that allows for rapid mass-production of vaccines, Novavax is uniquely positioned to meet global public health needs.
SOURCE Novavax, Inc.
CONTACT: Mariann Caprino, +1-484-913-1213, for Novavax, Inc.