BARDA extends contract with Novavax for pandemic vaccines

Novavax, Inc., announced on Thursday that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development authority extended the base period of performance of a contract with the pharmaceutical company for its recombinant seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines.

BARDA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, originally awarded the contract to Novavax in February 2011. The contract included funding of up to $97 million over an initial base period ending last month. Novavax and BARDA agreed to amend the agreement to let the company continue to access the remainder of the funding through September.

"While our original development plans anticipated utilizing the full amount of the contracted base-period funding within the three-year period, certain scope changes and development efforts resulted in delayed development timelines," Stanley Erck, the president and CEO of Novavax, said.

The funds will support the upcoming Phase II trial for Novavax's H7N9 vaccine candidate with Matrix-M and activities related to its quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine. As part of the amended agreement, BARDA can contribute up to $79 million in additional funds over an optional two-year period to support the company's later-stage development of the two vaccines.

"Extending the base period allows us to continue to access the remaining base period budget as we initiate a pandemic H7N9 Phase II study early this year and prepare for additional Phase II and Phase III influenza clinical trials, which we expect would occur during the contract's option period," Erck said.

Novavax is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops novel vaccines and vaccine adjuvants to address various infectious diseases around the world.