Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


PM Salutes NZ Company’s AIDS Drug Breakthrough

4 July 2002

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that Auckland-based Virionyx Corporation’s clearance to begin multi-dose trials for the HIV-AIDS drug it has developed was an exciting breakthrough for the New Zealand biotechnology sector.

Helen Clark was speaking during a visit to the Virionyx laboratories in Penrose, Auckland, where the drug, HRG214, has been developed.

AIDS and cancer specialist Dr Bruce Dezube oversaw the new drug’s Phase I trials at Harvard Medical School, and next week he will present the results to an international AIDS conference in Barcelona.

After successful trials in 18 people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has consented to multi-dose trials for HRG214.

Helen Clark today joined Virionyx executives in announcing a $3 million project to expand the Penrose laboratories and pilot plant so that further development – and eventually production – of the new drug can be carried out.

“This exciting development will further raise the international profile of the New Zealand biotechnology sector,” Helen Clark said.

“I congratulate Dr Frank Gelder, the inventor and the foundation director of Virionyx, and Virionyx staff for giving New Zealand scientists the opportunity to be involved in a leading edge biotechnology venture.

“The government has embraced the concept of innovation as central to securing our nation’s future success with a mix of policies to support innovative New Zealanders.

“Both the Investment New Zealand and Technology New Zealand state agencies have been working with Virionyx, enabling the company to build networks with potential investment and pharmaceutical partners.

“I am also delighted that three talented young New Zealand scientists will be coming home from the Westmead Millennium Institute in Sydney to work in the new laboratory facilities in Auckland, after undertaking studies assisted by two government grants to Virionyx.

“It is important that we support ventures that can help New Zealand rebrand itself as a high-tech, high-value, smart and creative country.

“I commend the collaborative approach that Virionyx has taken with other leading researchers and institutions, including the Harvard Medical School, as being interconnected with the wider world is critical to success in the global economy.

“This is the way of the future as we seek to build a more innovative nation,” Helen Clark said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news