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Novavax Inc. (NVAX) Announces New Proprietary Process to Battle SARS

Novavax Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) creates novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases with its proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology, taking part in the rapidly growing, $13 billion global vaccine market.

Today the company announced it has launched a new proprietary process to develop a vaccine candidate to fight the viral respiratory illness, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). To assist in its research efforts and preclinical developments of the SARS vaccine, the company received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Until now, it has been difficult to produce VLP vaccine candidates against SARS and other complex infectious disease targets because many of these biological structures do not assemble efficiently,” Dr. Gale Smith, Ph.D., vice president of Vaccine Development, stated in the press release. “Our new proprietary process uses select components of SARS and other structural proteins that combine with cell membranes to form distinctive SARS coronavirus nanoparticles, which are nearly identical to the human SARS virus but lack the genetic material needed to replicate and cause disease.”

Though Novavax does not have commercial rights to the product candidate, the NIH funding will help the company further its research and developments to fight SARS. According to the World Health Organization, health officials are concerned that SARS could become the first severe new disease of the 21st century with global epidemic, or pandemic, potential.

“This new approach to create VLPs will allow us to continue our work to develop a SARS vaccine candidate and expand the potential applications of our vaccine technology to a broad range of infectious diseases around the world,” Rahul Singhvi, president and CEO of Novavax stated in the press release.

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