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New Programs Designed to Speed Up Approval Process a Key Factor in Biotech Industry's Growth in 2012

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 11, 2013) - Programs developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to speed up the approval process has been a major driver for growth within the Biotech Industry. In 2012, FDA drug approvals totaled a 15-year high of 39, over the past decade drug approvals has averaged roughly 23 a year, according to a recent Bloomberg article. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Biotechnology Industry and provides equity research on Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. ( NASDAQ : HALO ) and Novavax, Inc. ( NASDAQ : NVAX ).

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The FDA's new "breakthrough" product designation allows new drugs to win approval after just a single round of testing, instead of the usual three. A total of three promising experimental medicines have been assigned the new status so far, while an additional 18 drugs have applied. The new designation follows three other programs -- Fast Track, Priority Review and Accelerated Approval -- each of which were designed to help bring crucial new drugs to market in a shorter amount of time.

"A breakthrough drug is one that may offer important new benefits for patients with serious or life-threatening disease who are especially in need of new safe and effective treatments," said Janet Woodcock, director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

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Halozyme Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative products that advance patient care. With a diversified portfolio of enzymes that target the extracellular matrix, the Company's research focuses primarily on a family of human enzymes, known as hyaluronidases, which increase the absorption and dispersion of biologics, drugs and fluids.

Novavax is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company creating vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide. Using innovative recombinant nanoparticle technology, as well as new and efficient manufacturing approaches, the company produces vaccine candidates to combat diseases, with the goal of allowing countries to better prepare for and more effectively respond to rapidly spreading infections.

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