Army taps Hawaii Biotech to create vaccine for dengue fever

The U.S. Army Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program recently awarded Hawaii Biotech Inc. an SBIR Phase I contract to create a vaccine to protect military personnel from dengue fever.

This disease is so lethal that it can endanger military missions if personnel are infected with it. The current vaccine candidates for dengue are in clinical trials. Unfortunately, these vaccine candidates only provide the trial subjects with incomplete protection and require long periods for vaccination.

"The growing outbreak of dengue fever in Hawaii highlights the need for stronger containment efforts now, and a commitment to preventing additional outbreaks in the future,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said. “This vaccine has the potential to seriously improve the response to dengue fever both in Hawaii, and around the world, and I am pleased that the Army has awarded this important research and development contract to a local Hawaii business.”

Military personnel and international travelers need a vaccine that works more quickly and effectively. The company will create as well as test the new adjuvants in order to improve the vaccine candidate’s immunogenicity.

"This contract will enable Hawaii Biotech to apply our many years of experience in viral vaccine development and our knowledge of the challenges in developing a dengue vaccine to this important mission," Hawaii Biotech CEO Elliot Parks said.

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Hawaii Biotech Inc

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