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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), a late-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced that it received input from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on its End-of Phase 2 questions and has reached agreement on its Phase 3 trial design for NanoFlu™, its adjuvanted recombinant quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine candidate for older adults aged 65 and over.
Novavax plans to initiate the pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of NanoFlu in the fall of 2019, with top-line clinical data expected in the first quarter of 2020. The resulting data would be used to support a future biologics license application (BLA) and licensure of NanoFlu using the accelerated approval pathway. This pathway enables Novavax to conduct a non-inferiority immunogenicity clinical trial against a licensed quadrivalent comparator, with a commitment to confirm efficacy post-licensure.
“With CDC-reported overall influenza vaccine effectiveness of just 12 percent among older adults during the 2018-2019 season, the pressing need for a more effective vaccine in this population is clear,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax. “We are committed to quickly demonstrating that our recombinant nanoparticle approach can help close the gap that exists between circulating flu strains and vaccines produced by traditional methods that frequently result in a mismatch, and ultimately, leave millions vulnerable to the serious consequences of influenza disease.”
Influenza is a world-wide infectious disease that causes illness in humans with symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening or even death. Serious illness occurs not only in susceptible populations such as infants, young children and older adults, but also in the general population largely because of infection by continuously evolving strains of influenza which can evade the existing protective antibodies in humans. An estimated one million deaths globally each year are attributed to influenza. Current estimates for seasonal influenza vaccine growth in the top seven markets (U.S., Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK), show a potential increase from approximately $3.2 billion in 2015 to $5.3 billion by 2025.
About NanoFlu™ and Matrix-M™
NanoFlu is a recombinant hemagglutinin (HA) protein nanoparticle influenza vaccine produced by Novavax in its SF9 insect cell baculovirus system. NanoFlu uses HA amino acid protein sequences that are the same as the recommended wild-type circulating virus HA sequences. NanoFlu contains Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant, which has demonstrated a potent and well-tolerated effect by stimulating the entry of antigen-presenting cells into the injection site and enhancing antigen presentation in local lymph nodes.
Positive top-line results of a Phase 2 clinical trial of NanoFlu in older adults released in January 2019 showed that NanoFlu induced improved immune responses when compared to the best-selling flu vaccine in the older adult market. All formulations of NanoFlu were well tolerated and elicited vigorous immune responses to the four strains included in the vaccine. For more information, read the press release here.
About Accelerated Approval
Accelerated approval may be granted for certain biological products that have been studied for their safety and effectiveness in treating serious or life-threatening illnesses and that provide meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments. Such an approval will be based on adequate and well-controlled clinical trials establishing that the biological product has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. For seasonal influenza vaccines, the hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody response may be an acceptable surrogate marker of activity that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. To be considered for accelerated approval, a biologics license application for a new seasonal influenza vaccine should include results from one or more well-controlled studies designed to meet immunogenicity endpoints and a commitment to conduct confirmatory post-marketing studies of clinical effectiveness in preventing influenza.
Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) is a late-stage biotechnology company that drives improved health globally through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. ResVax™, its RSV vaccine for infants via maternal immunization, is the only vaccine in a Phase 3 clinical program and is designed to prevent severe lower respiratory tract infection which is the second leading cause of death in children under one year of age worldwide. Novavax is also advancing NanoFlu™, its quadrivalent influenza nanoparticle vaccine, to address key factors that can lead to the poor effectiveness of currently approved flu vaccines. Novavax is a leading innovator of recombinant vaccines; its proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce a new class of highly immunogenic nanoparticles addressing urgent global health needs.
Statements herein relating to the future of Novavax and the ongoing development of its vaccine and adjuvant 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, 2018, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2019, as 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 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.
Senior Manager, Investor & Public Relations
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