Gaithersburg, MD-based Novavax ($NVAX) is looking to substantially increase its 400-person workforce, with plans to add as many as 850 new jobs.
The vaccine maker, whose respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) program is gaining momentum, will expand its R&D and clinical trial support operations to accommodate its growing pipeline, WTOP reported. While its RSV candidate is the furthest along in development, it is also developing candidates against seasonal and pandemic influenza and Ebola in addition to a combination vaccine targeting flu and RSV.
The company, which also has a facility in Rockville, MD, has secured up to $2.5 million in grants from Montgomery County and $50,000 from the city of Gaithersburg. The Maryland Department of Commerce has also approved $5 million in conditional loans for three phases of expansion, WTOP reported. These loans are based on Novavax’s job creation and investment.
The company most recently got its RSV F candidate fast-tracked for the protection of older adults. It expects data from a Phase III trial in that population in the third quarter of this year. The same vaccine is also in Phase I trials as a pediatric jab and in Phase III trials in pregnant women for the maternal immunization of infants. It was also fast-tracked in 2014 for use in maternal immunization. In October, Novavax picked up an $89 million Gates Foundation grant to advance the development of the RSV F vaccine. It plans to file for regulatory approval in 2017 and to hit the market in time for the 2018 RSV season.
As for its next most advanced candidate, the vaccine maker reported positive Phase II results for its quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine in August last year. It is currently working with its partner, BARDA, on the journey to licensure and commercialization and said the next step would be to kick off a dose-ranging trial this year.
- here's the WTOP story