SOURCE: Althea Technologies, Inc.

August 29, 2006 06:00 ET

Althea Technologies Awarded Advanced Bioscience Laboratories Contract to Produce DNA-Based HIV Vaccine for U.S. NIAID

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 29, 2006 -- Althea Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of innovative technologies and services for pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, announced today that it has been awarded a cGMP manufacturing contract to produce a DNA-based HIV-1 vaccine. The contract awarded by Advanced BioScience Laboratories, Inc. (ABL), a leader in the research, development, and manufacturing of retroviral disease products and services, is under a master agreement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The funding for Althea's production of the DNA HIV-1 vaccine totaling $911,549 is provided in its entirety by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, NIH under Prime Contract No. HHSN266200400045C. The contract will support Althea's efforts for plasmid DNA process development, vaccine production, purification, and regulatory documentation.

Current vaccine production methods for many viral diseases involve using embryonated eggs as a growth medium in order to produce significant quantities of viruses to generate a vaccine. This procedure is cumbersome and not ideal for an HIV vaccine because of various production and safety concerns. Plasmid DNA vaccines are an attractive alternative because the vaccines produced are noninfectious, and the manufacturing processes are straightforward and economical. The other significant benefit of this production method is a shelf-life appropriate for public health programs.

Under the NIH multi-year contract managed by ABL for pre-clinical development and production of this vaccine, Althea will be supporting a larger vaccine development program which is part of an international effort to combat AIDS. This NIAID funded effort is in conjunction with the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI).

Anthony S. Fauci M.D., Director of the NIAID, noted on World AIDS day that, "a key component of the trans-NIH effort is the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine. This crucial tool of prevention has thus far been elusive, but with ongoing research and collaborations and clinical trials of promising vaccine candidates, researchers are moving closer to this 'holy grail' of HIV/AIDS prevention."

Co-President and Co-CEO of Althea, Dr. Magda Marquet, stated, "We are delighted that Althea was chosen by Advanced BioScience Laboratories and the National Institutes of Health to produce this new type of DNA HIV-1 vaccine. AIDS is a devastating world pandemic and it is our hope that utilizing this new innovative technology will make a positive difference in this fight."

About Althea Technologies, Inc.

Althea Technologies, a leading San Diego-based pharmaceutical services firm, provides critical manufacturing and development services that support researchers worldwide in their advancement of novel therapies and efforts to apply new genomic information. Althea's services include cGMP contract manufacturing of recombinant proteins, DNA-based therapeutics and vaccines, aseptic filling, and gene quantification using real-time PCR and gene expression analysis under GLP conditions. Additionally, Althea has introduced new services and technologies for the identification and understanding of gene signatures with innovative tools such as the company's proprietary eXpress ProfilingTM (XP-PCR) technology. For more information, visit www.altheatech.com.

About Advanced BioScience Laboratories, Inc.

Advanced BioScience Laboratories, Inc. (ABL) is a highly skilled contract research organization having extensive experience working with government, commercial and other groups. ABL is committed to delivering quality services that advance HIV and infectious disease research for the public good. ABL can help with all aspects of product development including: basic research, vaccine or product design, conducting animal immunogenicity and efficacy studies, and cGMP manufacturing of biologics for Phase I and II clinical trials. ABL strives for excellence in all that we offer. For more information, visit www.ablinc.com.

Contact Information

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    Althea Technologies, Inc.
    Alan Moore
    Executive Vice President and CBO
    (858) 882-0205
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