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PM Opens High Tech Biotech Laboratories

Prime Minister Opens High Tech Biotech Laboratories

Virionyx Corporation Will Develop AIDS Drug at New Facility

Manukau City, Auckland (August 1, 2003) – The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Helen Clark, today opens Virionyx Corporation’s state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical laboratory facility in Manukau City.

In the new laboratory, Virionyx will continue the development of its biotherapeutic treatment for late-stage AIDS patients, plus other drugs and antibody treatments for a range of viruses.

The company has developed a proprietary process for the treatment of viruses from which its first therapeutic, PEHRG214, a passive immunotherapy for HIV, was designed.

The therapeutic last year successfully completed a United States Federal Drug Agency (FDA) approved Phase I clinical trial at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Currently, it is undergoing a multi-dose Phase I/II clinical trial at Harvard in which 40 HIV patients are being injected twice weekly with PEHRG214.

The therapeutic has shown under laboratory conditions that it is capable of killing the AIDS virus.

The internationally recognised cancer and AIDS specialist conducting the independent trials Harvard, Dr Bruce Dezube, has commented it “demonstrates early evidence of antiviral activity, even in anti-retroviral experienced individuals”.

Today’s opening ceremony at Virionyx’s new facility, will be attend by a number of local dignitaries, including Manukau City Mayor Sir Barry Curtis, local MP Honourable Taito Phillip Field, representatives from Manukau City Council and Enterprising Manukau development agency, plus company shareholders and staff. 2/…

Virionyx has moved to Manukau from smaller research facilities in Penrose. The move has allowed the company to build a PC3 laboratory, which can handle viruses in containment. As a result, Virionyx has recently transferred to New Zealand the viriology/cell biology technology developed by one of it its scientists, Dr Lisa Williams. This work was being undertaken by Dr Williams at the Westmead Millennium Institute in Sydney.

Ultimately, the new premises will include a full-scale production facility in which drugs and antibody treatments for a range of viruses, including PEHRG214, will be manufactured.

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