Novavax terminates negotiations with ROVI Pharmaceuticals

US biotech Novavax has ended talks aimed at negotiating the terms of a collaboration with Spanish drugmaker ROVI Pharmaceuticals to develop Novavax's virus-like-particle (VLP)-based vaccines against influenza.

US biotech Novavax has ended talks aimed at negotiating the terms of a collaboration with Spanish drugmaker ROVI Pharmaceuticals to develop Novavax's virus-like-particle (VLP)-based vaccines against influenza.

The company said it was unable to agree acceptable terms and to obtain the necessary funding commitments for the programme.

Novavax is now free to seek a new partner for its pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccine development efforts in Europe.

In May 2009 the Spanish government awarded a Euro 60m contract to ROVI to produce pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines based on Novavax's VLP technology to develop and manufacture the vaccines for sale in Spain and Portugal.

In addition, Rovi was to have taken a US$3m (â"šÂ¬2.2m) equity stake in Novavax as part of the agreement.

Dr Rahul Singhvi, chief executive of Novavax, said the company was disappointed that it could not reach an agreement with ROVI.

"In the meantime, we are continuing to make great progress with the development of our vaccines in Mexico, India and the US," he said.

In Mexico, Novavax is awaiting results from its H1N1 influenza vaccine clinical study and in India, the company expects to open a VLP vaccine production facility in March.

In the US, Novavax is awaiting results of its seasonal influenza vaccine study in the elderly. The company also anticipates receiving a decision from the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) regarding funding to develop recombinant influenza vaccines.

The company also expects to launch a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) later this year.




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