Novavax is on a roll with mid-stage VLP success

The cutting-edge vaccine developer Novavax is on a roll. The developer announced this morning that its trivalent seasonal flu vaccine produced the kind of strong immune response it was looking for against three flu strains--including H1N1--and performed without triggering any serious adverse events in a mid-stage trial. The results open the way to a late-stage trial, and that news spurred an 18 percent increase in its share price.

Novavax recruited 221 subjects for the trial, and noted that the data indicated that its virus-like particle technology demonstrated effectiveness at guarding against viruses from other seasons without the need of an adjuvant. New and improved experimental vaccines are gaining added attention these days as experts predict that a second wave of swine flu will hit the northern hemisphere in a matter of weeks. And Novavax has been one of the most prominent biotech companies to benefit from the scrutiny.

"The safety and immunogenicity results from this study give us confidence to move our seasonal influenza VLP vaccine candidate forward into late phase development," said Dr. Penny Heaton, Novavax's CMO and VP of development. "Given the immunogenicity results we saw with our VLP vaccine candidate as compared with the egg-based vaccine, we are now particularly excited to begin the larger head-to-head study in elderly adults this fall."

- check out the Novavax release