SOURCE: Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

April 18, 2005 10:56 ET

Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. Announces Progress Report to Shareholders and Annual Meeting Agenda

AMARILLO, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 18, 2005 -- Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) (OTC BB: AMAR) announces that proxy material is being mailed to its approximately 1,400 shareholders of record as of April 7, 2005, regarding a shareholders' meeting to be held at 10 am CDT in the Colorado room at the Ambassador Hotel in Amarillo, Texas, on May 27, 2005. At that meeting, the Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Martin Cummins will discuss clinical trials to be conducted in 1) Southeast Asia on humans with influenza, 2) Texas on myeloproliferative diseases, and 3) Turkey on Behcet's disease. President and CEO, Joseph M. Cummins, will discuss relocation plans, license/partnership progress, funding strategy, personnel additions, and collaboration on agroterrorism, among other topics. Lorenz Lutherer, MD will review clinical data from the Company's study of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Southeast Asia Avian Flu Study

The recent outbreak of the avian influenza, known as the H5N1 virus, has already killed millions of birds and more than 50 people in Southeast Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the epidemic in birds could spread to people causing a deadly flu pandemic. WHO predicts many millions of people could die from the next flu pandemic.

With associates from the state of Washington and an influenza expert from Australia, the Company plans to participate in a study of its interferon lozenges in humans with influenza caused by the deadly H5N1 virus in Southeast Asia. Previous clinical studies published by others from 1967-1987 indicated that low doses of interferon given intranasally or orally significantly reduced the illness rate and mortality due to influenza. Amarillo Biosciences intends to renew the study of interferon's safety and efficacy against influenza by testing oral interferon against the H5N1 virus.

Myeloproliferative Disease Study

The myeloproliferative disease study at a major cancer center in Texas is anticipated to launch in the Summer of 2005. The cancer center's Clinical Research Committee meets April 27, 2005, and the Institutional Review Board meets May 4, 2005. The myeloproliferative diseases to be studied are polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia, 20 patients each.

Behcet's Disease Study

Documents will be submitted to the Turkish government this quarter seeking permission to conduct a study on 90 patients with Behcet's disease. The Company will provide details about the study at the meeting. Nobel ILAC and the Company have agreed on a 12-week study design that will allow for evaluation of both initial response to interferon treatment as well as the durability of response.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Study

Clinical data from the Company's ongoing study of oral interferon therapy of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a deadly lung disease, will be reviewed and plans for future studies will be discussed. The principal investigator, Lorenz Lutherer, MD from Texas Tech University Health Science Center, has been invited to the Company's annual shareholders' meeting to present the results of the study that has been underway for 3 years.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease

A study of oral interferon planned in Africa will be discussed. This study is expected to produce data that the Company believes will motivate the government to reconsider slaughter as a control measure for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). The virus that causes FMD is considered the number one threat to the nation's livestock industry.

BioVet Sales Royalties

Amarillo Biosciences has begun recognizing royalty revenues from sales of human interferon alpha to BioVet, Inc., a Tokyo based animal health company. Manufactured by Amarillo Biosciences' longtime strategic partner Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories (HBL), this interferon, known as Bimuron, is used to treat rotavirus in cattle. BioVet has been selling the Bimuron to veterinarians in Japan since September 2004 following Japanese regulatory approval that was announced July 16, 2004. Amarillo Biosciences owns the worldwide distribution rights outside of Japan to orally administered HBL interferon and receives a royalty on Japanese sales.

Licensing Discussions

The Company expects to announce the results of ongoing license/partnership discussions. These discussions include Southeast Asia and other regions.

Amarillo Biosciences to Explore Financing Options to Fund Clinical Trials

At its Annual Meeting, Amarillo Biosciences will propose a financing strategy that would be used to fund clinical trials for human use. As a result, shareholders are being asked to increase the authorized number of shares of common stock from the current 20 million to 50 million. The Company has approximately 16 million shares currently outstanding and issued. The Company will remain vigilant about avoiding excessive dilution.

Management Changes

The Company's choice for CFO and another management position will be introduced. The Company's Board of Directors stands for re-election and shareholder approval is being sought.

About Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

Amarillo Biosciences, Inc., is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 20.5% of Amarillo Biosciences shares and has provided over $16.5 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 Sjogren's syndrome, Behçet's disease, and opportunistic infections in patients who are HIV positive. In its 20-year history, ABI has invested $37 million to establish oral interferon as a therapeutic agent. The overwhelming majority of those funds were invested in clinical trials in an effort to achieve FDA approval for interferon. Additional information is available on the ABI 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" of the Company's Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2003.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Investor Relations:
    Philippe Niemetz
    WPH Consultants, Ltd.
    Tel: 800-477-7570
    Tel: 212-344-6464
    Fax: 212-618-1276
    Email: philippe.niemetz@wphconsultants.com

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