GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- GenVec, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNVC) announced today that it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the Company's Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine program.
The SBIR grant, valued at approximately $590,000, will provide funding to further understand the impact of maternal immunity against RSV on the generation of a protective immune response in newborns. This is an important factor in the development of an effective vaccine for the pediatric population.
"These funds will be used to further advance our novel pediatric RSV vaccine. RSV has long been recognized as a priority target for vaccine development, and our program has the potential to address this significant unmet medical need," said Jason Gall, PhD, Senior Director of Research and head of GenVec's RSV program.
About Respiratory Syncytial Virus
RSV is the single most important viral cause of lower respiratory infections in infants and young children and there is no approved vaccine. According to the World Health Organization, nearly all U.S. children have been infected with RSV by two years of age. Although a majority of RSV infections are usually mild, the infection can result in severe lower respiratory tract infection due to bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants less than 1 year old, which causes up to 130,000 pediatric hospitalizations per year in the U.S. RSV also causes repeated infections throughout life, placing the elderly and individuals with compromised cardiac, pulmonary, or immune systems at risk for severe disease. Among the institutionalized elderly, it is estimated there are about 10,000 deaths annually from RSV.
GenVec is a biopharmaceutical company using differentiated, proprietary technologies to create superior therapeutics and vaccines. A key component of our strategy is to develop and commercialize our product candidates through collaborations. GenVec is working with leading companies and organizations such as Novartis, Merial, and the U.S. Government to support a portfolio of product programs that address the prevention and treatment of a number of significant human and animal health concerns. GenVec's development programs address therapeutic areas such as hearing loss and balance disorders; as well as vaccines against infectious diseases including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), dengue fever, malaria, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In the area of animal health we are developing vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Additional information about GenVec is available at www.genvec.com and in the Company's various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Statements herein relating to future financial or business performance, conditions or strategies and other financial and business matters, including expectations regarding funding, grants, collaborations, revenues, cash burn rates, the development of products and the success of the Company's collaborations, including with Novartis and Merial, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. GenVec cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or historical experience include risks and uncertainties, including the failure by GenVec to secure and maintain relationships with collaborators; risks relating to the early stage of GenVec's product candidates under development; uncertainties relating to research and development activities; risks relating to the commercialization, if any, of GenVec's proposed product candidates; dependence on the efforts of collaborators and third parties; dependence on intellectual property; currently unanticipated expenses, and risks that we may lack the financial resources and access to capital to fund our operations. Further information on the factors and risks that could affect GenVec's business, financial conditions and results of operations, are contained in GenVec's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and GenVec assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.
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