Hawaii Biotech Inc. has been selected to develop a vaccine against chikungunya virus under a Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health‘s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The biotechnology company said Tuesday it will collaborate with the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Baylor College of Medicine on the project.
David Clements, director of vaccine research at Hawaii Biotech, will coordinate development efforts with Coreen Beaumier, assistant professor at Baylor’s National School of Tropical Medicine and co-director of product development at the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.
“This award enables Hawaii Biotech to apply our knowledge and experience in recombinant subunit vaccine development to this important emerging disease threat,” said Clements.
“The recent outbreaks of both chikungunya and Zika viruses in tropical and sub-tropical areas pose major public health threats to individuals living in these areas, as well as global travelers,” he added.
HBI is using the company’s recombinant subunit protein vaccine platform to produce the chikungunya vaccine.
The company has used the same platform to develop vaccines against other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue and West Nile.