Crucell broadens pandemic preparedness with grant awarded to develop H5N1 Influenza vaccine
Leiden, The Netherlands, April 5, 2007 - Dutch biotechnology company Crucell N.V. (Euronext, NASDAQ: CRXL; Swiss Exchange: CRX) today announced it had received a European Commission-funded grant toward the development of a pandemic influenza vaccine. The €1.7 million grant, which was awarded to a consortium of nine leading universities and companies working in the field of influenza research, will finance pre-clinical and clinical testing of H5N1 vaccines.
“Crucell has long been involved in the development of a pandemic influenza vaccine and this grant is another important step toward Crucell’s goal of meeting critical global needs for a pandemic influenza vaccine,” said Dr. Jaap Goudsmit, Crucell’s Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Goudsmit added: “With a vaccine already in clinical trial based on H9N2, Crucell broadens its pandemic influenza vaccine portfolio adding another potential pandemic strain. We are thankful to the European Commission for its decision to give us such an important grant.”
Three Influenza subtypes, H5, H7 and H9 have caused highly pathogenic avian influenza. Although presently most vaccine development has focused on H5N1 strains, avian H7 and H9 influenza subtypes remain a pandemic threat and have caused infection in humans in Asia and Europe since 1996.
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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