SOURCE: Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

April 27, 2009 14:07 ET

Amarillo Biosciences Issues Letter to Shareholders Addressing Interferon and Swine Flu Outbreak

AMARILLO, TX--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) - Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (AMAR) (OTCBB: AMAR) today announced that it has issued the following Letter to Shareholders addressing oral interferon and the recent swine flu outbreak. This information is being sent to governments, influenza experts and other individuals because of the urgency of the present influenza outbreaks in Mexico, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

Dear Shareholder,

In 1957 two scientists in England noted a substance in chicken embryos that was "interfering" with the growth of influenza virus. The scientists isolated the protein and called it "interferon." In other words, it has been known for 52 years that interferon blocks influenza virus. We have prepared a more technical summary of a portion of the data that shows that interferon prevents or effectively treats influenza in ferrets, mice, guinea pigs and humans: (http://amarbio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=44).

There is additional animal data presently being generated by a colleague in Germany, and Dr. Manfred Beilharz (the principal investigator of our ongoing interferon flu study in Australia) and I both believe that the existing animal and human data should motivate national and international health authorities to consider low dose oral interferon for the prevention and treatment of influenza.

Because of the current influenza outbreak, it is important that health officials recognize that oral interferon represents an inexpensive, non-toxic, easy-to-administer oral therapy for flu. Our interferon lozenges are stable at room temperature for up to 2 years so the therapy lends itself to the healthcare needs of the developing world where refrigeration may not be readily available.

The government approved anti-viral drugs are not a long term solution because the influenza virus has the capability of rapidly developing resistance to the drugs according to JAMA, Vol. 301, No. 10, Pages 1034-1041, May 2009. Because interferon acts indirectly by boosting the immune system, influenza viruses have not developed resistance to interferon, but instead have developed strategies to shut host cell production of interferon. Therefore, treating with extra interferon to overcome the viral strategy makes scientific sense.

Interferon is a protein produced naturally in mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Interferon helps regulate the immune system of all animals. Interferon is not a miracle drug but instead interferon can boost the body's natural immune system. Properly used, interferon can help the immune system to perform more efficiently.

The clinical data from our flu study in Australia will be available this fall. Based on our previous work with cattle, there is every reason to believe that oral interferon lozenges will be successful at preventing and lessening the severity of influenza infection in the study's volunteers. We need to make plans now for a follow-up flu study in the U.S., rather than waiting for the final data from Australia.

We are working diligently to launch an interferon flu study in the U.S. The brewing swine flu outbreak is motivating health officials to examine every possible weapon against an international flu pandemic; we are hopeful that this will include a thorough study of oral interferon which will prove that it is a safe and effective treatment.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Joseph Cummins,
President and CEO Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

About Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 7.5% 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, Behcet's disease, 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 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