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Nabi Biopharmaceuticals Initiates Second Phase III Study for NicVAX as an Aid to Smoking Cessation and Long-term Abstinence
ROCKVILLE, Md., Mar 17, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:NABI) announced that it has initiated the second of two pivotal Phase III clinical trials for NicVAX(R) (Nicotine Conjugate Vaccine), the company's innovative and proprietary vaccine to treat nicotine addiction and prevent smoking relapse. The FDA has agreed with Nabi on the study design, protocol and end points through a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA). The SPA forms a basic foundation to support approval of a New Drug Application. The Company also received scientific advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) that confirms and supports the trial protocol.

"With the initiation of this study, we are now fully engaged in the pivotal clinical program that we believe will lead to the successful licensure of NicVAX," said Dr. Raafat Fahim, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals. "NicVAX has the potential to address one of the most significant unmet medical needs in the world today. We aim to fully realize the benefits of NicVAX for our shareholders and for people who wish to quit smoking and remain quit."

How NicVAX Works

When nicotine enters the bloodstream, it quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to nicotinic receptors in the brain, triggering the release of stimulants like dopamine that provide the smoker with a positive sensation that eventually leads to addiction. NicVAX stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that bind to nicotine creating an antigen/antibody complex that is too large to cross the blood-brain barrier. In this way, NicVAX blocks nicotine from reaching these receptors in the brain and prevents the highly-addictive pleasure sensation experienced by smokers and users of nicotine products. Pre-clinical and previous clinical data show that NicVAX's ability to block nicotine from reaching the brain could help people quit smoking. Because the nicotine antibodies circulate for long periods of time, Nabi believes NicVAX may also be effective in preventing smoking relapse. This is a very important difference between NicVAX and existing anti-smoking treatment therapies. Relapse is a significant challenge facing smokers and, with currently-available smoking cessation therapies, relapse rates can be as high as 90% in the first year after a smoker quits.

About the Phase III Study

Similar to the initial Phase III study for NicVAX, this study is a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study comprised of approximately 1,000 patients. The primary endpoint of the study is the abstinence rate at 12 months. Abstinence will be evaluated by several measures, including self-reported cigarette consumption, and exhaled carbon dioxide. Secondary endpoints include the abstinence rate at various time intervals, safety and immunogenicity, and the effect of NicVAX on withdrawal symptoms, cigarette consumption, smoking satisfaction and nicotine dependency. Study results are anticipated by early 2012.

About Nabi Biopharmaceuticals

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals leverages its experience and knowledge in powering the immune system to develop products that target serious medical conditions in the areas of nicotine addiction and gram-positive bacterial infections. Nabi Biopharmaceuticals is currently developing NicVAX(R) (Nicotine Conjugate Vaccine), an innovative and proprietary investigational vaccine for treatment of nicotine addiction and prevention of smoking relapse. The company is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For additional information about Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, please visit www.nabi.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release that are not strictly historical are forward-looking statements and include statements about products in development, results and analyses of clinical trials and studies, research and development expenses, cash expenditures, licensure applications and approvals, and alliances and partnerships, among other matters. You can identify these forward-looking statements because they involve our expectations, intentions, beliefs, plans, projections, anticipations, or other characterizations of future events or circumstances. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of any number of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, risks relating to our ability to conduct and obtain successful results from our two Phase III clinical trials for NicVAX; GSK's failure to exercise its option for and successfully commercialize NicVAX; GSK's failure to successfully develop and commercialize any future generation candidate nicotine vaccine; our ability to commercialize NicVAX if GSK does not exercise its option for NicVAX; our ability to raise sufficient new capital resources to fully develop and commercialize NicVAX if GSK does not exercise the NicVAX option; our ability to attract, retain and motivate key employees; our ability to collect any further milestones and royalty payments under the PhosLo and PentaStaph agreements; the ability to obtain regulatory approval for NicVAX and any future generation candidate nicotine vaccine in the U.S. or other markets; our ability to successfully contract with contract manufacturing organizations for the manufacture and supply of NicVAX; our ability to comply with reporting and payment obligations under government rebate and pricing programs; and loss of full use of our net operating loss carry forwards. These factors are more fully discussed, as are other factors, in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2009 to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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SOURCE: Nabi Biopharmaceuticals

CONTACT:  Nabi Biopharmaceuticals
Investor Relations
301-770-3099
www.nabi.com
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Biota Pharmaceuticals Inc's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.