Amarillo, Texas, October 9, 2009 — Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) (OTCBB: AMAR) today announced that Professor Dr. Otto Haller from the Department of Virology, Freiburg University, Germany and Professor Dr. Oliver Planz from the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Tubingen, Germany gave two separate presentations on the efficacy of interferon to combat influenza. The presentations were made at the National Symposium for Zoonosis Research, held in Berlin, Germany October 7-8, 2009. Dr. Haller’s presentation was entitled, Interferons as emergency antiviral agents against highly pathogenic influenza A viruses: efficacy evaluation in animal transmission models, and Dr. Planz’s presentation was named H5N1 and swine-origin H1N1 influenza A viruses are susceptible to interferon type I treatment in vitro and in vivo.
Dr. Haller reported on the efficacy of interferon against influenza in the ferret animal model. Because the ferret shows symptoms that closely resemble influenza illness in humans, the ferret is considered to be a good model for human influenza. Dr. Haller reported that pre-treatment with interferon given intranasally was as beneficial as Tamiflu at reducing clinical symptoms and cell counts in the nasal washes of ferrets that were subsequently infected with influenza virus.
Dr. Planz reported that as little as one intranasal administration of low-dose interferon reduced the concentration of influenza virus in the lungs of treated mice. Furthermore, multiple intranasal administrations of low-dose interferon protected mice against otherwise lethal influenza infections. There was no evidence of toxicity in mice given low-dose interferon.
These results agree with the published report of Dr. Manfred Beilharz and colleagues at the University of Western Australia in Perth, who showed that giving a low dose of interferon once a day by mouth protected mice from a fatal influenza infection. Using a colored dye, researchers have found that oral and intranasal dosing both result in equal coating of the mouth and throat in mice. Both routes of administration should therefore be equally effective at delivering interferon to receptors located throughout the mouth and throat in order to boost the immune system. ABI is pursuing oral administration of interferon as it is more convenient for patients than a nasal spray.
A Phase 2 clinical trial of ABI’s low-dose oral interferon is ongoing in Australia in healthy volunteers exposed to the H1N1 influenza virus and other respiratory viruses during the local influenza season. That study is expected to validate results of human clinical trials published years ago, which suggested that low dose interferon given orally or intranasally is safe and effective against influenza virus. Results of this important study are expected before the end of the year. ABI recently announced that clinical trials testing low-dose oral interferon as treatment of influenza are planned in India. ABI is also planning influenza studies in other countries, including the USA.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the worldwide manufacturing capacity for influenza vaccine is 3 billion doses (www.who.int), meaning that vaccine offers protection against pandemic H1N1 influenza to less than half of the world’s 6.8 billion inhabitants. Anti-viral drugs are needed to help treat the disease. The timely presentations by Professors Haller and Planz add support to ABI’s contention that low-dose oral interferon is a safe and effective antiviral therapy against influenza.
About Amarillo Biosciences
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 7% of Amarillo Biosciences shares and has provided over $18 million in loans, grants and equity investments. The Company's primary focus is extensive and ongoing R&D into the use of low-dose, orally administered interferon as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including influenza, hepatitis C, chronic cough, and opportunistic infections in patients who are HIV positive. The Company has invested nearly $40 million to establish oral interferon as a therapeutic agent. The majority of those funds were invested in clinical trials in an effort to achieve FDA approval for interferon. Additional information is available on the web at http://www.amarbio.com/.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including uncertainties related to product development, uncertainties related to the need for regulatory and other government approvals, dependence on proprietary technology, uncertainty of market acceptance of oral interferon or the Company’s other product candidates and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In particular, see “Item 1. Description of Business” and “Item 7A. Qualitative and Quantitative Disclosures About Market Risk” of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008. --END--