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Vaxart, Inc. Awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant to Support Development of Orally-Delivered H5N1 Avian Influenza Vaccine


9/8/2009 10:31:03 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Vaxart, Inc., a San Francisco biotechnology company developing oral-delivery vaccines, has been awarded a $2.8 million phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (National Institutes of Health) to support development of its first product, an orally-delivered vaccine for H5N1 Avian influenza.

Vaxart has developed a proprietary approach to vaccine creation that, the company believes, will enable it to produce a portfolio of oral-delivery vaccines easily and quickly.

The second advantage of the Vaxart approach is the ability to use the same vector, or delivery vehicle, across all vaccines. Usually, each vaccine requires a different vehicle, because people who have been vaccinated build antibodies against the vehicle. Later vaccinations using the same vehicle are less effective, as the body attacks the vehicle instead of the disease target. Vaxart has overcome this obstacle and has demonstrated strong immune responses against multiple targets following a series of oral vaccines. Vaxart believes it will be able to produce new vaccines through a standardized low-cost process, with low regulatory risk because data from one vaccine will help establish the safety of others.

The recent emergence of pandemic H1N1 flu has underlined the importance of being prepared for pandemic illnesses. Avian flu is an ideal first test for Vaxart's technology, due to its capability to quickly protect people against new threats. In studies completed in 2008, the vaccine successfully protected large animals against death from Avian flu infection.

Vaxart is a San Francisco biotechnology company developing oral-delivery vaccines. The vaccines incorporate a proprietary adjuvant that boosts the immune response, enabling them to be effective when swallowed in a pill or capsule. Moving forward, Vaxart intends to develop next-generation, oral alternatives to existing vaccines with proven market potential. For more information, visit www.vaxart.com

SOURCE Vaxart, Inc.

CONTACT: Michele Parisi of Vaxart, Inc., +1-925-429-1850, ir-pr@vaxart.com

Web site: http://www.vaxart.com/



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