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Hawaii Biotech, Inc. Receives Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccine Grant


8/11/2009 10:32:49 AM

HONOLULU, HI--(Marketwire - August 11, 2009) - Hawaii Biotech, Inc. was awarded a three-year $2.9 million SBIR phase II grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to continue development of a vaccine to protect healthy individuals from Tick-Borne Encephalitis. This brings Hawaii Biotech's current product array to three, including vaccine candidates for dengue virus, West Nile virus and Tick-Borne Encephalitis.

"This support will allow us to complete preclinical development and move forward towards clinical testing of our Tick-Borne Encephalitis vaccine candidate," stated Dr. Elliot Parks, CEO of Hawaii Biotech, Inc.

Hawaii Biotech, Inc., will use its proprietary recombinant protein production platform to produce a subunit vaccine containing the Tick-Borne Encephalitis envelope glycoprotein. Subunit vaccines provide a number of benefits over virally based proteins. This grant will help to fund optimization of protein expression, downstream processing, and vaccine formulation. Funds will also be used to establish vaccine safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy in appropriate animal models.

About Tick-borne encephalitis virus:

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), also known as spring-summer encephalitis, is an important infectious disease in many parts of Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Asia. TBE is caused by a virus, which is a member of the family Flaviviridae that also includes dengue, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, and yellow fever viruses. The TBE virus is mainly transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. TBE is most commonly recognized as a neurological disease, but mild febrile forms of illnesses can also occur. Infection of the central nervous system can result in severe neurological symptoms and, in rare cases, death. Long-lasting or permanent neurological damage is a consequence in 10-20 percent of infected patients. The number of cases varies from year to year, but several thousand are reported annually with historical under-reporting of this disease. For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/Spb/mnpages/dispages/TBE.htm

About Hawaii Biotech, Inc.:

Hawaii Biotech is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the research and development of prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases. Hawaii Biotech has developed a proprietary protein production platform that has application to the production of proteins for use as antigens in infectious disease vaccines. Hawaii Biotech is developing vaccines for dengue virus and West Nile virus and has a pipeline which includes vaccine candidates for malaria, tick-borne encephalitis virus and influenza. Hawaii Biotech recently successfully completed Phase I clinical trials of its West Nile Virus vaccine. Hawaii Biotech, the oldest and largest biotech company in Hawaii, is headquartered in Honolulu. For more information: http://www.hibiotech.com.


Contact:
Piia Aarma
Pineapple Tweed
808-737-1904
808-221-2102 (mobile)

Dr. Elliot Parks
808-342-7281 (mobile)



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