Novavax saw its stock soar 75 percent to a high of $3.26 yesterday after the Rockville, MD-based company announced it will be working with the National Institutes of Health to evaluate its first batch of H1N1 vaccine. The vaccine developer says it completed its first batch of H1N1 virus-like particles back in May, just three weeks after the CDC released the genetic sequence of the H1N1 virus.
The VLP--nearly identical to the swine flu virus--was developed from a strain of H1N1 isolated from an infected person in California. The particles are not infectious and cannot replicate, but are designed to produce an immune response.
Novavax says it also already manufactured the master seed stock necessary to produce the vaccine in larger quantities. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases unit has agreed to work with Novavax to evaluate the VLP vaccine.
- here's the Novavax release