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Spanish agreement for flu vaccine solution

Novavax, has announced its initial agreement to license its proprietary, recombinant virus-like-particle vaccine technology to ROVI Pharmaceuticals

US biotech company, Novavax, has announced its initial agreement to license its proprietary, recombinant virus-like-particle (VLP) vaccine technology to ROVI Pharmaceuticals of Spain, which ROVI will use to create a comprehensive influenza vaccine solution for the Spanish government. The  60m programme, sponsored and led by the Spanish Ministry of Health and other government groups, will develop pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines and build a production plant. The initiative aims to serve the entire population of Spain.

Under separate agreements, ROVI will receive exclusive licences to Novavax's portable VLP vaccine technology to commercialise flu vaccines in Spain and Portugal, and non-exclusive licences in Europe, Latin America and Africa.  Furthermore, under a stock purchase agreement, the Spanish drug manufacturer has committed to make a $3m equity investment in Novavax at $2.74 per share, a 10 per cent premium on the June 29, 2009 closing bid price on the NASDAQ Global Market.

A non-profit foundation, jointly sponsored by ROVI and the Spanish authorities, will be set up and initially funded with  25m from the government, to support Phase III clinical development and steps to achieve marketing authorisation of the vaccines in the EU in 2012. The company will contribute additional clinical development funds, if required. 

The State of Andalucia will support ROVI in building a new  20m VLP vaccine plant in Granada, which will be ready for use in 2012. The plant, with certain licensed manufacturing rights from Novavax, is designed to supply Spain and other parts of Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Dr Rahul Singhvi, president and chief executive officer of Novavax, stated: "We are honoured to be selected by the Spanish Health Ministry and ROVI Pharmaceuticals to help develop pandemic and seasonal flu vaccine solutions for Spain. We are pleased to have found a superb partner in ROVI that has deep knowledge of the local vaccine markets as well as significant vaccine manufacturing experience."

1st July 2009


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