ROCKVILLE, Md., June 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) announced today that it had successfully produced a vaccine candidate designed to provide protection against the recently emerging Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The vaccine candidate, which was made using Novavax' recombinant nanoparticle vaccine technology, is based on the major surface spike (S) protein. The Company believes that its MERS-CoV vaccine candidate may provide a path forward for a vaccine for this emerging threat.
MERS-CoV is a novel coronavirus first identified in September 2012 by an Egyptian virologist, who isolated the previously unknown coronavirus from the lungs of a 60-year-old patient with pneumonia and renal failure. To date, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a total of 53 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 30 deaths. The newly emergent virus is a part of the coronavirus family that includes the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), first recognized as a global threat in March 2003 and by July 2003, had resulted in 8,098 SARS cases in 26 countries, with 774 deaths.
Novavax had previously produced a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the SARS-CoV virus which was similarly based on its major surface S protein. Novavax' SARS-CoV vaccine candidate study demonstrated immunogenicity and complete protection of animals in a live viral challenge; the study was published in the journal Vaccine (online 14 July, 2011).
MERS-CoV was first reported in Saudi Arabia and has spread to Europe, including England, France, Germany and most recently Italy. Health officials do not know how the newly discovered MERS-CoV spreads, making the development of an effective vaccine an important public health priority.
Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company creating 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 platform 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' 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.
Statements herein relating to the future of Novavax, the public offer for the shares of Isconova, the proposed combination, and the ongoing development of Novavax's 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, 2012, and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 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: John Herrmann
Vice President, General Counsel