Vaccine pioneer has financial woes but forges ahead with research and clinical trials

National  12/12/09  Hawaii Biotech Inc., a privately held biotechnology company based in Aiea, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday. In 2008 Hawaii Biotech conducted its first human clinical trials with a West Nile virus vaccine, followed by a dengue virus vaccine candidate in August of this year being conducted at St. Louis University.  Jerrold Guben, attorney for Hawaii Biotech, says many of the pre-petition equity investors are still willing to finance the company but will become debt investors. Next week the company will file motions to assume all its clinical trial contracts,. Hawaii Biotech, founded in 1982, recently completed a Phase 1 clinical trial of its West Nile vaccine in healthy human subjects. It is currently in Phase 1 clinical studies with a dengue vaccine candidate, and is in pre-clinical development with a vaccine for tick-borne encephalitis. Hawaii Biotech is also working on vaccine candidates for malaria and influenza.


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