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Novavax in multi-million Spanish deal on vaccines

Novavax in multi-million Spanish deal on vaccines

Vaccine developer Novavax Inc. has signed a deal with Spain's health ministry and a specialty drugmaker there to license its genetically engineered technology to produce pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines and build that country's first vaccine-making plant.
Rockville, Maryland-based Novavax told The Associated Press the deal, to be announced later Tuesday by the Spanish government, will bring the company development funding needed in the short term and will be worth tens of millions of dollars in future royalty and milestone payments once the vaccines are approved and marketed.
Novavax, Spain's Ministry of Health and ROVI Pharmaceuticals of Madrid are aiming to have the manufacturing plant running and win approval to sell the vaccines in the European Union in 2012. The plant is to be built in Granada, at an expected cost of about 20 million euro, or $28 million.
Novavax, a development-stage company with no marketed products, is in midstage testing in the U.S. of a vaccine against swine flu, or H1N1 flu, using the same technology to produce vaccines more quickly and cheaply than the traditional method of growing the key vaccine component in chicken eggs, a process that takes several months.
Novavax developed what's called virus-like-particle technology to make vaccines. The technology genetically engineers a particle that looks like a flu virus, but contains contains only three of its eight genetic building blocks, enough to make the shell of the virus and key proteins on its surface, Singhvi said.
"It's like a decoy of the virus, but the immune system recognizes it as if it were the flu virus" and mounts a vigorous immune response, he said. "It cannot replicate, and it cannot cause illness."
The company is aiming to get approval to sell both pandemic flu vaccines and seasonal flu vaccines in the U.S., also by 2012.
Spanish government agencies will provide


Updated : 2021-04-18 15:01 GMT+08:00