Hawaii Biotech President And CEO Elliot Parks Stepping Down
Vice President and General Counsel, Richard Sherman, to Serve as Interim CEO
HONOLULU, June 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaii Biotech, Inc., (HBI) a privately held technology company that develops vaccines and biodefense drugs, announced today that Elliot Parks, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer (CEO), is retiring for medical reasons. Dr. Parks will continue to serve on the board of directors and as a consultant to the company. Vice president and general counsel, Richard L. Sherman, JD, has been appointed by the HBI Board of Directors to serve as interim CEO.
Parks was recruited in 2008 to lead the company and within a few years expanded the company's vision, brought in new financing and initiated the first human clinical trials for its Dengue and West Nile virus vaccines. Successfully navigating the company through successful reorganization, Parks developed a business model of out-licensing and partnering HBI's protein production capabilities, vaccines and adjuvants, as well as receiving grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense to support both its vaccine programs and development of biodefense small molecule drugs.
In 2016-17, Parks led the design and development of HBI's new state-of-the-art headquarters at Dole Cannery which includes both medicinal chemistry and molecular biology laboratories.
"We will sorely miss Elliot's hands-on leadership and are grateful that he continues to serve on the board and as a consultant. Finding a chief executive officer with all the experience and skills Hawaii Biotech demanded at the time was extraordinarily fortunate. His dedication to the company, the community and staff cannot be overstated," said Debra Guerin Beresini, board member of the HBI Board of Directors.
HBI, Hawaii's oldest and largest biotech company, has 21 employees and is currently developing vaccine candidates for Ebola, Zika, COVID-19, West Nile Virus, Chikungunya and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and Tick-borne Flavivirus and small molecule anti-toxin drugs for treatment of Anthrax intoxication and for botulism caused by BoNT type A intoxication.
Parks brought 30 years of experience in academic research, biomedical product development, executive management and life science investing to HBI, as well as experience and personal knowledge of best practices in corporate governance. He served on the boards of several venture-backed companies and of nonprofit medical and research institutions and governmental bodies, including the Whittier Institute for Diabetes, HiBEAM, the Hawaii Science and Technology Council, the SDSU BioScience Advisory Council and BIOCOM.
He served in key leadership positions in academic research at The Scripps Research Institute, in technology acquisition and product development at Johnson & Johnson, in technology funding and commercialization as managing director at two Southern California venture firms. He holds more than a dozen US patents and is the co-author of multiple peer-reviews scientific papers. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed an executive MBA program at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He was honored as the Life Sciences Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2016 Hawaii Venture Capital Awards.
About Hawaii Biotech, Inc.
Hawaii Biotech (HBI) is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of prophylactic vaccines for established and emerging infectious diseases and anti-toxin drugs for biological threats. HBI has developed proprietary expertise in the production of recombinant proteins that have particular application to the manufacture of safe and effective vaccines. HBI successfully completed first-in-human Phase 1 clinical studies with vaccine candidates for both West Nile virus and for dengue fever and has developed a pipeline of recombinant subunit vaccine candidate, including vaccine candidates for West Nile virus, tick-borne flavivirus, Zika , Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and Ebola. The company is also developing small molecule anti-toxin drugs for treatment of anthrax and botulism. HBI, founded in Hawaii in 1982, is headquartered in Honolulu. For more information, please visit: www.hibiotech.com.
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SOURCE Hawaii Biotech, Inc.