AMES, Iowa, Feb. 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NewLink Genetics Corporation (NASDAQ:NLNK), a biopharmaceutical company at the forefront of discovering, developing and commercializing novel immuno-oncology product candidates, including both cellular immunotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor platforms, today announced the company initiated a project to develop new treatment options for the Zika virus.

NewLink Genetics’ Infectious Disease Division, which is based in Devens, Mass., is focused on finding innovative and life-saving treatments for people who have no or few options available to them. With this goal, the team has evaluated various approaches for the prevention of infection with the Zika virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the Zika virus to be an international public health emergency.

“NewLink Genetics is committed to developing a vaccine solution to the tragedy of the Zika virus disease,” said Thomas P. Monath, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operating Officer of NewLink Genetics’ Infectious Disease Division. “Our R&D group has decades of experience in developing successful vaccines against closely-related flaviviruses, which we will leverage to accelerate our Zika vaccine program.”

“Given the deep expertise and experience of Dr. Monath and our infectious disease team, we believe we are well positioned to develop a vaccine candidate for the Zika virus,” said Charles J. Link, M.D., CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of NewLink Genetics. “Our team gained considerable experience during the Ebola crisis collaborating with national and international partners in a rapidly evolving public health environment.”

About the Zika Virus

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. In January 2016, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency. The organization advised pregnant women to avoid travel to 14 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Mexico and Haiti. There is no current vaccine and no course of treatment for the Zika virus.

About NewLink Genetics Corporation

NewLink Genetics is a biopharmaceutical company at the forefront of discovering, developing and commercializing novel immuno-oncology product candidates, including both cellular immunotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor platforms, to improve the lives of patients with cancer. NewLink Genetics’ portfolio includes biologic and small molecule immunotherapy product candidates intended to treat a wide range of oncology indications. NewLink Genetics’ product candidates are designed to harness multiple components of the immune system to combat cancer without significant incremental toxicity, either as a monotherapy or in combination with other treatment regimens. For more information, please visit

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements of NewLink Genetics that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “seek” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements about NewLink Genetics’ financial guidance for 2015 and beyond; enrollment in or results of its clinical trials for product candidates; its timing of release of data from ongoing clinical studies; its plans related to moving additional indications into clinical development; NewLink Genetics’ future financial performance, results of operations, cash position and sufficiency of capital resources to fund its operating requirements; and any other statements other than statements of historical fact. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements that NewLink Genetics makes due to a number of important factors, including those risks discussed in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in NewLink Genetics’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The forward-looking statements in this press release represent NewLink Genetics’ views as of the date of this press release. NewLink Genetics anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while it may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing NewLink Genetics’ views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. 

Corporate Contact:
Jack Henneman
Chief Financial Officer

Investor Contact:
Donna LaVoie
617-374-8800, ext. 107

David Connolly 
617-374-8800, ext. 108