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Hawaii Biotech gets rights to West Nile vaccine technology

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Honolulu-based Hawaii Biotech has acquired, from pharmaceutical giant Merck, ownership of a family of patents to West Nile virus vaccine technology, as well as a nonexclusive license to related technologies.

Terms were not disclosed.

“This transaction will enable HBI to continue the development of our vaccine for West Nile virus, an important emerging infectious disease,” said Elliot Parks, Hawaii Biotech CEO, calling it “a significant milestone.”

 “We appreciate the cooperation we have received from Merck, and we look forward to continuing the clinical development of this vaccine candidate.”

The company is developing a Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever vaccine through a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Other vaccines also under development include a malaria vaccine in collaboration with academic researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a tick-borne flavivirus vaccine.

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