Novovax is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on treating infectious diseases using recombinant nanoparticle vaccine technology. The company’s vaccine candidates are genetically engineered three-dimensional nanostructures that incorporate recombinant proteins that are critical to disease pathogenesis.
Novovirus generates their vaccine nanoparticles in insect cells. Cells of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, are grown as a cell line called Sf9. When infected with baculovirus, they have can continue to multiply indefinitely. The baculovirus is engineered to carry foreign genes to program the Sf9 cells to produce desired proteins. Recombinant proteins are designed to self-assemble into nanoparticle constructs in such a way as to elicit a strong immune response.
Novavax’s lead product is a nanoparticle flu vaccine called NanoFlu. The company developed vaccines for SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, that have not received regulatory approval. Novavax developed a RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine called ResVax that failed in two late-stage clinical studies. Novavax is working on a vaccine for the new coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak.
Moderna announced this week that its vaccine appears to be less effective against the South African variant, although it said protective antibodies remained above protective levels.
Gregory Glenn, MD
President of Research and Development
COVID-19 Vaccine Development Update: An Interview With Novavax
March 26, 2020