Amarillo, Texas, March 23, 2010 — Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) (OTCBB: AMAR) today announced that Dr. Manfred Beilharz, Chair of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, The University of Western Australia will make a presentation entitled, Low Dose Oral Type 1 IFN: A New Defense Against Colds and Flu, at the 3rd World Summit of Antiviral Summit Shelf in Busan, South Korea on July 31-August 3, 2010. Dr. Beilharz was one of the principal investigators of the study that tested ABI’s oral interferon lozenges during the 2009 influenza season in Australia.
In the Phase 2 clinical trial conducted in Perth, Western Australia, 200 healthy volunteers were given placebo or ABI’s low-dose oral interferon for prevention and treatment of naturally occurring colds and influenza. The study was funded by the Health Department of Western Australia. This double-blind, randomized trial showed that ABI’s orally administered interferon lozenges were safe when taken daily for 16 weeks by subjects during the winter colds and flu season. The study found that subjects given interferon tended to more frequently report mild cold/flu symptoms, compared to subjects given placebo who more frequently reported moderate to severe symptoms. Additionally, subjects in the interferon group who received trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine prior to the study had a significantly lower incidence of influenza-like illness during treatment, compared to subjects in the placebo group who had been vaccinated.
The Phase 2 clinical trial in Perth, Australia was conducted under unprecedented circumstances. The trial was planned and designed before pandemic H1N1 influenza was even known to exist, and the trial got underway just as Australia became an epicenter of the pandemic. Because of this, additional analyses are planned on the trial data to evaluate the treated subjects’ responses to oral interferon during the pandemic as well as the interactions between vaccination status and H1N1 influenza infection. Testing of blood samples taken from the study volunteers for the presence of H1N1 influenza virus will be completed soon. Because it is unique, having coincided precisely with the pandemic, the trial should provide important and new information regarding the 2009 H1N1 pandemic that will be useful for designing future trials.
“The Perth trial has shown, by significant reduction of incidence of flu-like illness in treated subjects, that oral interferon increased the efficacy of the seasonal influenza vaccine for protection against pandemic H1N1 influenza. This is the first time that an influenza drug has been shown to enhance the efficacy of any human influenza vaccination. This finding is especially important because the trial demonstrated that the partial protection afforded by seasonal influenza vaccine against pandemic H1N1 could be significantly enhanced by the administration of oral interferon,” said Dr. Beilharz.
Dr. Beilharz went on to comment, “The efficacy of oral interferon in reducing the severity of influenza symptoms, with or without vaccination, is likewise very important. Conversion of what would be severe influenza symptoms to milder symptoms by use of oral interferon may result in fewer hospitalizations, fewer complications, and potentially reduced mortality associated with severe and potentially Tamiflu-resistant influenza outbreaks. In summary, the trial results show that oral interferon is the right drug at the right time.”
About Amarillo Biosciences
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 6% 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--