Novavax Inc and researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, led by Trudy Morrison, PhD, published in the January 2011 issue of The Journal of Virology, a report indicating that a novel virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) protects mice from a live virus challenge. This vaccine candidate has been created with technology that Novavax has licensed exclusively from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

"Immunization with the genetically engineered RSV VLP vaccine stimulated immune response against crucial vaccine targets, the RSV G attachment and RSV F fusion proteins. The antibody responses were equal to or better than levels resulting from infection with live RSV.

"This stucy indicates that immunization with a VLP vaccine results in functional and protective immune responses agains RSV," said Greg Glenn, MD, Novavax’s chief scientific officer.

RSV is the most important viral cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants and children worldwide with 64 million cases and 160,000 deaths each year and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age, according to a statement from Novavax.