Crucell awarded EU grant to develop malaria vaccine
Leiden, The Netherlands, January 24, 2007 - Dutch biotechnology company Crucell N.V. (Euronext, NASDAQ: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) today announced that it had received a European Union-funded grant aimed at advancing the development of a malaria vaccine. The ¿2.4 million grant, which was awarded to a Crucell-led consortium of six leading European Universities and companies in the field of malaria research, will finance pre-clinical studies toward an affordable, safe and efficacious two-component pediatric malaria vaccine.
“We are grateful to the EU for its decision to give us this grant,” said Dr. Jaap Goudsmit, Crucell’s Chief Scientific Officer. “The grant is important to our efforts to develop a malaria vaccine.” Dr. Goudsmit added: “The grant will go a long way toward streamlining Crucell’s focus on the fundamental global needs for a much-needed malaria vaccine.”
Malaria is one of the biggest killers among communicable diseases today. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and transmitted from person-to-person through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. The disease currently represents one of the most prevalent infections in tropical and subtropical areas causing severe illness in 300 to 500 million individuals worldwide and causing up to three million deaths every year. Most of these deaths occur among children and pregnant women in the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Although the overwhelming majority of morbidity and mortality associated with malaria occur in the developing world, the disease also affects travelers.
Crucell N.V. (Euronext, NASDAQ: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) is a biotechnology company focused on research, development and worldwide marketing of vaccines and antibodies that prevent and treat infectious diseases. Its vaccines are sold in public and private markets worldwide. Crucell’s core portfolio includes a vaccine against hepatitis B, a fully-liquid vaccine against five important childhood diseases, and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza. Crucell also markets travel vaccines, such as the only oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral cholera vaccine and the only aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market. The Company has a broad development pipeline, with several Crucell products based on its unique PER.C6® production technology. The Company licenses this and other technologies to the biopharmaceutical industry. Important partners and licensees include DSM Biologics, sanofi aventis, GSK and Merck & Co. Crucell is headquartered in Leiden (the Netherlands), with subsidiaries in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Korea and the US. The Company employs over a 1000 people. For more information, please visit www.crucell.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve inherent risks and uncertainties. We have identified certain important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements. For information relating to these factors please refer to our Form 20-F, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 6, 2006, and the section entitled “Risk Factors”. The Company prepares its financial statements under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (US GAAP) and Europe (IFRS).
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