May 1, 2008 — /PRNewswire/ — ROCKVILLE, MD — Officials from Novavax, Inc., the State of Maryland, and Montgomery County today celebrated the opening of Novavax’s new state-of-the-art vaccine production facility at the company’s headquarters in Rockville, MD. The 5,000-sq.-ft., $5 million pilot and commercial-scale manufacturing plant will be used to produce vaccines addressing a broad range of infectious diseases. The facility will initially supply influenza vaccine for the company’s current clinical programs with planned annual capacity of 10 million doses.
“The completion of this facility represents a major milestone for Novavax and a significant accomplishment for our development team,” says Novavax president and CEO Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D. “This facility is seen as a model vaccine plant for production of all of our virus-like-particle-based vaccines and will serve as a prototype for other similar local country facilities through collaborators such as GE Healthcare. It incorporates new processes that are designed to increase production yields with significantly less infrastructure and capital cost compared to current approved vaccine facilities. Our production technology, which can be used to produce many types of vaccines in a single facility, combined with our use of disposable materials, offer the potential advantage of simple portability of production equipment to sites around the world, where vaccines may be urgently needed.”
Unlike traditional egg-based vaccine production, which is expensive and can require large centralized manufacturing plants with complex infrastructure, the Novavax facility employs unique cell-based technology and disposable manufacturing systems which require less production infrastructure and represent a simpler and potentially more efficient approach to vaccine production. The novel methods being applied at Novavax’s new facility will enable the company to produce vaccines within 12 weeks of flu strain identification, which is less than half the time required by current manufacturers of approved vaccines. These methods should also enable the company to respond faster to seasonal or pandemic flu outbreaks once the vaccines in development are approved.
Novavax has four proprietary vaccine candidates in development addressing pandemic influenza, seasonal flu, Varicella zoster, and an undisclosed infectious disease target. The company’s lead vaccine candidate to protect against pandemic influenza is currently in Phase II clinical testing.
“I congratulate Novavax on the opening of this impressive facility and wish them continued success in developing innovative, vital vaccines to prevent infectious diseases such as influenza,” says Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “We are very pleased to have Novavax headquartered in Montgomery County, as they are certainly one of our brightest, most promising biotechnology companies and we look forward to their continued growth and success.”
“Novavax’s decision to relocate their corporate headquarters to Maryland and expand with this new state-of-the-art vaccine production facility is a tremendous win for both Montgomery County and the State of Maryland,” says David W. Edgerley, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “This new facility will not only build on Governor O’Malley’s vision to strengthen our State’s reputation as a bioscience powerhouse, but also puts Maryland on the forefront of disease control and prevention.”
Novavax, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company, creating novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide using advanced proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology. The Company produces these VLP based, highly potent, recombinant vaccines utilizing a new, efficient manufacturing solution.