KUALA LUMPUR, 21 SEPTEMBER 2020 – Ho Wah Genting Berhad (“HWGB” or the “Company”) (Bursa Stock Code:9601) through its wholly owned subsidiary HWGB Biotech Sdn Bhd’s (“HWGB Biotech”) [formerly known as HWG Consortium Sdn Bhd] together with its joint venture partner US based E-MO Biology Inc (“EBI”) (“JV”) contracted Dr. John Andrews through Black Diamond Networks (Professional service agreement) to support its JV’s US FDA IND application project in view of/advancing on his 25 years direct experiences in vaccine development & clinical phase IV study.
Dr. Andrews has spent the majority of his in career developing antivirals and other drugs of importance such as infectious diseases, autism, oncology, CV, pulmonary and has extensive experience with presentation to both the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).
Dr. Andrews has also served in the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as a Safety Review Officer for several vaccine development programs both in the private sector and with governments agencies.
HWGB chief executive officer Dato’ Aaron Lim expressed: “"I'm delighted to welcome Dr. Andrews to the team. He is a seasoned expert in vaccine development programs both in the private sector and with governments agencies. The appointment of Dr Andrews is timely and his experience and expertise will propel the efforts for the company to gain traction in developing a vaccine for COVID-19.”
"Dr. Andrews will help us pursue the strategic vision in the development of poliomyelitis virus vaccine (PVV) for the treatment of COVID-19," he said.
EBI will undertake Phase IV clinical trials for a new indication which proposes the use of existing poliomyelitis virus vaccines for prevention of COVID-19 (“Project”) and the research and development, testing, registration, commercialization and other activities relating to the 5 provisional patent applications (“Patents”), subject to the approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the Investigational New Drug (IND) application.
EBI had on 15 June 2020 submitted the IND application to the FDA to conduct phase IV clinical trials for a new indication using existing PVV for prevention of COVID-19. Furthermore, on 28 August 2020, the FDA has responded to the second communication EBI with FDA by requesting EBI to provide further information on the IND application too.
HWGB Biotech will invest US$1 million and be entitled to 40% of the total net profit as a sponsor of EBI. Furthermore, HWGB Biotech will enjoy exclusive licence and rights for the production, distribution, marketing, commercialization and the sale of the repurposed vaccine based on the polio vaccine for use in preventing COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia countries.
Early this month, HWGB Biotech had also submitted the necessary documents to the National Medical Research Register (NMRR) in Malaysia to evaluate oral polio vaccine's (OPV) effectiveness and as a preventive protection against the COVID-19.