Hawaii Biotech, Inc. has been awarded a contract from The Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency to develop drugs that block botulinum toxin, the toxin that causes the life-threatening disease, botulism, for which there is no currently available therapeutic drug.
The contract, valued at approximately $5.5 million, has a first-year period of performance through early 2014, followed by three option years. Hawaii Biotech will work to improve its current anti-botulinum toxin inhibitor drug candidates that have demonstrated activity in preclinical testing. The goal will be to enhance the stability, bioavailability and safety of these drug candidates for human use.
"This contract, in addition to the $7.4 million grant for an anti-anthrax drug, demonstrates the confidence that Federal agencies have in Hawaii Biotech's ability to develop these drug candidates, as well as our historic commitment to vaccines for tropical and emerging diseases such as West Nile Virus," said Dr. Elliot Parks, chief executive officer of Hawaii Biotech. "Hawaii Biotech is now fully engaged in the development of therapeutic drugs to combat infectious diseases that pose potential bioterrorism threats, as well as continuing development of vaccines for infectious agents."