HHS: US$125 million to Novavax, VaxInnate for flu vaccine development

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded two contracts “to help make vaccine available more quickly for seasonal flu outbreaks and pandemics.” The contracts involve “advanced development of new types of vaccine and new ways to make flu vaccine known as next-generation recombinant influenza vaccine and total US$215 million.” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “These next-generation flu vaccines hold the potential to be even more effective and to make the first and last doses of vaccine available sooner than existing flu vaccines by weeks and months which can save more lives during a pandemic as well as during seasonal flu outbreaks.” HHS awarded one of the contracts to Novavax, Inc.(Rockville, Md) for US$97 million over the first three years, which can be extended for an additional two years, for a total contract value of US$179.1 million. Under its contract, Novavax is “to develop new technology to produce vaccines using insect cells to express influenza proteins and create virus-like particles that stimulate a strong immune response in humans.” HHS awarded a separate contract to VaxInnate, Inc. (Cranbury, N.J.) for US$117.9 million over the first three years, which can be extended for two additional years, for a total contract value of US$196.6 million. VaxInnate is “developing a recombinant influenza vaccine technology based on combining influenza and bacteria proteins to stimulate strong immune response to protect against the flu.”

Through these contracts, both companies will conduct clinical safety and efficacy studies http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110228007038/en/HHS-Awards-Contracts-Develop-Flu-Vaccine-Technology