SOURCE: Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

November 11, 2009 08:00 ET

Amarillo Biosciences Comments on New Findings of H1N1 in Animals and Potential Effect on Human Infections

AMARILLO, TX--(Marketwire - November 11, 2009) - Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) (OTCBB: AMAR) reported that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently confirmed that a household cat in Iowa developed signs of respiratory infection caused by H1N1 influenza virus. The AVMA report adds cats to the growing list of animals, including ferrets, hogs (most recently in Indiana and Taiwan) and turkeys reported to be infected by H1N1 influenza virus.

The present pandemic H1N1 is a swine virus, meaning it has already acquired genetic information from viruses that co-infect swine. The report of jumps of the H1N1 virus from humans into hogs, ferrets, cats and turkeys increases worries that the H1N1 virus can readily jump to many species. Transmission of H1N1 virus to hogs has been reported at an increasing frequency. Flu infections in hogs in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America have now been reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (http://www.cdc.gov) maintains an H1N1 Flu Situation Update at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm, which reports a widespread pandemic occurring in 48 states. The flu pandemic, according to CDC, is more severe than in a "typical" flu season: 126 U.S. children have already died as a result of the H1N1 virus, a tally that is significantly higher than normal.

Dr. Joseph Cummins, President & CEO, ABI, said, "Any possible H1N1 mutations that worsen the virus' effect on humans could limit the effectiveness of vaccines or other prophylactic measures. Fortunately, oral or intranasal interferon alpha has been reported by scientists in France, Italy, Germany, Taiwan and the USA to be safe and beneficial in controlling viral diseases in cats, hogs, ferrets and poultry, regardless of mutations occurring."

A Phase 2 clinical trial of ABI's low-dose oral interferon is ongoing in Australia in 200 healthy human volunteers exposed to the H1N1 influenza virus and other respiratory viruses during the local influenza season.

Dr. Manfred Beilharz, one of the principal investigators in Australia, said, "Our study was conducted based on human results published in Russia and Bulgaria. Our study is expected to validate results of human clinical trials published years ago, which reported that low-dose interferon given orally or intranasally is safe and effective against influenza virus."

Results of this important Australian study are expected within a month. 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.

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. In its 25-year history, 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 site 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.

Contact Information

  • Investor Relations:
    Philippe Niemetz
    PAN Consultants, Ltd.
    e-mail: p.niemetz@panconsultants.com
    Tel: 800-477-7570
    212-344-6464
    Fax: 212-618-1276

    Joseph M. Cummins, DVM, PhD
    Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.
    e-mail: jcummins@amarbio.com
    Tel: 806-376-1741 x 13
    Fax: 806-376-9301