Novavax announces positive results from study observing adjuvant Matrix-M

Biopharmaceutical company Novavax, Inc., announced positive data on Tuesday from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its H7N9 avian influenza vaccine candidate with the proprietary adjuvant Matrix-M.

The trial, which was conducted under a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), tested 610 healthy subjects. The placebo-controlled study was used to determine the contribution of Matrix-M to potential antigen dose-sparing regimens.

Novavax said the results of the study showed a clear immunogenicity benefit from the vaccine using Matrix-M.

"We are pleased with the performance of Matrix-M in this study, which increases our confidence in the value of this adjuvant and its future application in this and other recombinant nanoparticle products," Stan Erck, the president and CEO of Novavax, said. "Based on the data from this trial, we will discuss future clinical studies with our partner, BARDA."

Erck said additional studies are needed to identify the best combination of antigen and adjuvant to achieve the greatest practical antigen dose sparing and make the maximum number of doses available in a pandemic emergency.

BARDA awarded Novavax a contract valued at up to $179 million in 2011 to develop recombinant influenza vaccine products. The contract had a 43-month base period, although BARDA awarded the company an option period that extended the period of performance by two years.