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Novavax Inc. (NVAX) Announces Vaccinations for Seasonal Influenza

We’re coming up on that time of year again, when shopping carts hit the checkout counters filled with Kleenex, cough syrup and flu medicine. According to the Center for Disease control, between 15 and 60 million people in the United States contract influenza (flu) each year, leading to more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths.

Health officials recommend seasonal vaccinations for children six months of age through 18 years of age; pregnant women; adults over 50 years of age; and individuals with chronic health conditions who are at risk for the disease.

Novavax Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on creating novel vaccines to combat a wide range of infectious diseases using its advanced proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology. The company today announced the vaccination of healthy volunteers in a phase II clinical trial of its VLP-based seasonal influenza vaccine.

The randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of different doses of its seasonal influenza VLP vaccine in about 300 healthy adults between 18 and 49 years of age. The volunteers will receive a single injection of either a placebo or vaccine to study the efficacy and safety of Novavax’s VLP vaccines.

According to Dr. Rahul Singhvi, president and CEO of Novavax, the company’s VLPs hold the potential as an effective prevention. The development of its VLP pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines in close proximity will allow the company to benefit from product synergies.

“We are delighted to initiate our seasonal influenza vaccine program in phase II human trials,” Dr. Singhvi stated. “VLPs are a very promising approach against influenza as we recently demonstrated with the announcement of favorable results in a phase IIa human clinical trial of our VLP based pandemic influenza vaccine. There are synergies to be gained in the development of our VLP pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines that provide the Company unique advantages. For example, since both vaccines utilize the same manufacturing approach, safety information from either one of these influenza vaccine programs would compliment and support the other program which should reduce the overall development timeline for each program.”

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