Event Highlighted Leadership in Vaccine Development and Regional Growth in Biotechnology Innovation
GAITHERSBURG, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, President & CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), joined Novavax President & CEO Stanley Erck to discuss the importance of the biotechnology sector in Maryland, the industry’s efforts to address COVID-19, and progress being made by Novavax to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus. A video of the remarks is now available.
“When the COVID-19 crisis began, even before we had our first confirmed cases, I said that our state was home to some of the top health research facilities in the world, and I hoped that we might be a part of developing treatments and perhaps even a vaccine for this deadly virus,” said Governor Hogan. “Novavax took that challenge and immediately hit the ground running. The State of Maryland is proud to support the efforts of Novavax and our entire hub of life sciences companies, which is at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.”
Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath spoke about the unprecedented response by the biotechnology industry to fight COVID-19. “Novavax is a shining example of that response, that galvanized intellectual capacity, and the ability to put the power of science to healing the world,” she said. “We at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization couldn’t be prouder of how our companies, our scientists, our entrepreneurs, have really mobilized to change the world.”
“We are about to enter three different phase 3 trials, including a trial that is starting imminently in the UK in 10,000 people, a trial that is starting in the U.S. in a few weeks that will be 30,000 people and a third phase 3 trial in India. We have a global presence. This is a global disease. (Read more…) I don’t think it’s sufficient that we have a vaccine that is just used for the United States. To protect the United States, you need to protect the world. It is a global economy. And that’s what we’re doing,” Erck said. “We feel a tremendous responsibility in our role at the forefront of vaccine development and in our mission to deliver a safe and effective vaccine as rapidly as possible to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. As a science-based organization dedicated to improving health, it has been gratifying to see many like-minded stakeholders in our region come together to that end.”
The remarks were made on-site at Novavax in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Full video of the remarks is available here.
BIO is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.
Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) is a late-stage biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. Novavax is undergoing clinical trials for NVX-CoV2373, its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. NanoFlu™, its quadrivalent influenza nanoparticle vaccine, met all primary objectives in its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in older adults. Both vaccine candidates incorporate Novavax’ proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant in order to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Novavax is a leading innovator of recombinant vaccines; its proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce highly immunogenic nanoparticles in order to address urgent global health needs.
NVX‑CoV2373 is a vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARS‑CoV‑2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. NVX‑CoV2373 was created using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and contains Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. NVX-CoV2373 contains purified protein antigens and cannot replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19. In preclinical trials, NVX-CoV2373 demonstrated indication of antibodies that block binding of spike protein to receptors targeted by the virus, a critical aspect for effective vaccine protection. In its the Phase 1 portion of its Phase 1/2 clinical trial, NVX‑CoV2373 was generally well-tolerated and elicited robust antibody responses numerically superior to that seen in human convalescent sera. NVX-CoV2373 is also being evaluated in two ongoing Phase 2 studies, which began in August; a Phase 2b trial in South Africa, and a Phase 1/2 continuation in the U.S. and Australia. Novavax has secured $2 billion in funding for its global coronavirus vaccine program, including up to $388 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant 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, boosting immune response.
Novavax Forward-Looking Statements
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, 2019, and Quarterly Report on Form 8-K for the period ended June 30, 2020, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on 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.
Silvia Taylor and Erika Trahan