Novavax Inc. , a company developing influenza vaccines for an inoculation program in Spain, rose as much as 12 percent in Nasdaq trading after saying a preclinical test for its swine flu pandemic treatment had positive results.
Novavax and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention injected ferrets twice with vaccines made from “virus-like particles,” which acted as non-infectious decoys for a 2009 H1N1 strain of the flu, the company said today in a statement. Tests showed the vaccine worked to protect the animals against the disease, Novavax Chief Medical Officer Penny Heaton said in an interview , Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, millions of children are heading back to school in the next few weeks and concerns are growing that the H1N1 swine flu will spread even further than it already has. Identified by scientists four months ago, the virus has already turned up in nearly every corner of the world. It also defied public-health officials’ predictions of a lull in the warm summer months, proliferating in places like children’s summer camps , Wall Street Journal Blogs reports.
However, Novavax, based in Rockville, Md., makes vaccine using what's called virus-like particle technology to build a structure like a virus, but without the genetic material inside that a virus needs to reproduce. The particles — sets of proteins assembled through genetic engineering — are injected and attach to immune cells, which recognize the particles like they would a virus ,The Associated Press reports.