By Gazette Staff
Novavax of Rockville scored a significant victory Monday when it won a federal contract worth up to $179 million to continue developing its new vaccines for seasonal and pandemic flu.
The company this week also announced a licensing deal with a South Korean pharmaceutical company for producing and marketing flu vaccines there and in other nations.
The federal deal includes $97 million for an initial three years, plus $82 million for an optional two-year period, according to the company and federal officials.
The contract with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is a “validation of our hard work,” CEO Rahul Singhvi said in a conference call with investors.
Publicly traded Novavax is developing the vaccines based on its virus-like particle technology. The technology mimics the external structure of viruses but lacks the live genetic material that actually causes viral replication and infection. Besides being safer than conventional vaccines, its vaccines can be produced more quickly, according to the company.