HONOLULU, HI--(Marketwire - August 25, 2009) - Hawaii Biotech, Inc. President and CEO Elliot
Parks, Ph.D., announced today that the company has initiated a Phase 1
clinical study with its monovalent dengue vaccine candidate. The
double-blind, placebo controlled, dose escalation safety study in healthy
subjects is being conducted at the St. Louis University Center for Vaccine
Development. http://vaccine.slu.edu/ Vaccine recipients in this study will
also be monitored for virus neutralizing antibodies.
"This dengue clinical study is an important milestone in Hawaii Biotech's
maturation as a clinical stage company. In addition it confirms the
versatility of our subunit vaccine technology platform," Parks notes.
"This Phase 1 study will also prepare us for the initial clinical testing
of Hawaii Biotech's tetravalent dengue vaccine."
Hawaii Biotech's dengue monovalent vaccine candidate is the first
recombinant subunit vaccine for dengue to enter clinical studies. Previous
dengue vaccine candidates tested in the clinic have been either
live-attenuated or DNA-based vaccines. Hawaii Biotech intends to test a
dengue tetravalent vaccine candidate, developed using the company's
recombinant subunit vaccine technology, within a year.
The first phase of clinical development program is designed to assess
safety, determine a dose range and identify potential side effects.
Results from this clinical study are expected within a year.
Hawaii Biotech's dengue subunit vaccine candidate has been developed with
financial assistance from the National Institutes of Health, the Department
of Defense, and the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative.
About Dengue: Dengue, also known as "break-bone fever," is a prevalent
infectious disease in tropical and subtropical countries throughout the
world. Approximately 3.5 billion people live in endemic countries and
about 100 million people are infected with dengue every year. Dengue
infections result in an estimated 20,000 deaths. Dengue is caused by one
of four closely related, but distinct, virus serotypes (DEN1, DEN2, DEN3,
and DEN4), of the family Flaviviridae, which also includes yellow fever,
West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses.
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with any one of
the four dengue viruses. Infection with dengue virus results in severe
flu-like symptoms that can lead to a life-threatening hemorrhagic fever.
During the last quarter century, many tropical regions of the world have
seen an increase in dengue cases. The southern United States is
potentially susceptible to dengue epidemics as the types of mosquitoes that
transmit dengue virus are prevalent there.
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. The company recently successfully completed a
Phase 1 clinical trial of its West Nile vaccine and is also developing a
vaccine for tick-borne encephalitis. Hawaii Biotech's pipeline also
includes vaccine candidates for malaria and influenza. Hawaii Biotech, the
oldest and largest biotech company in Hawaii, is headquartered in Honolulu.
For more information, please visit: http://www.hibiotech.com.