October 07, 2009 10:28 ET

Amarillo Biosciences Partners With Intas Pharmaceuticals to Treat Influenza in India

AMARILLO, TX--(Marketwire - October 7, 2009) - Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) (OTCBB: AMAR) today announced that it has agreed to a strategic partnership with Intas Pharmaceuticals Limited (Intas), one of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in India, whereby Intas will sponsor clinical trials of ABI's orally administered interferon-alpha lozenges in order to combat influenza. Intas will pay ABI a royalty on net sales after marketing approval is obtained in India.

The H1N1 virus continues to circulate in India. Recent reports place the death rate in India from H1N1 infection at 3.1%. The objective of the clinical trials in India is to determine the efficacy of low dose oral interferon in reducing the severity of infection with influenza viruses such as H1N1.

ABI has been conducting studies on the use of low-dose interferon to treat and prevent respiratory tract disease in animals and has found it to be a safe, effective oral therapy for cats, cattle, and horses. Others have published that oral interferon is an effective treatment of human influenza.

In a Phase 2 clinical trial being conducted in Perth, Western Australia, volunteers are being given ABI's low-dose oral interferon for prevention and treatment of influenza. The study, which is being conducted by researchers at the University of Western Australia and funded by the Health Department of Western Australia, is nearing completion. This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is expected to show that ABI's orally administered interferon lozenges can safely reduce both the infection rate and the severity of symptoms in subjects who are exposed to influenza and other respiratory viruses during a typical flu season. The company plans to release the results of this important study before the end of the year.

A month ago, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology suggested a "plausible scenario" that 40% of the US population could be infected by the H1N1 virus, which, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is widespread in 27 states and regional in 18 other states. Even though the "2009-2010 influenza season" didn't officially begin until October 4, there have already been 60 pediatric deaths attributed to the H1N1 virus in the US.

"Influenza viruses mutate to evade the effects of anti-viral drugs. Influenza viruses do not mutate to evade interferon, but instead they have a strategy to sabotage the host interferon system. By giving people interferon orally, we believe we can overcome this viral strategy. It is my belief that low-dose oral interferon will be a beneficial therapy of all influenza viruses, not just the H1N1 strain," said Dr. Joseph M. Cummins, President and CEO of ABI.

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/.

About Intas Pharmaceuticals

Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is an India based pharmaceutical company with three decades of experience in the healthcare industry and a global presence in 42 countries worldwide. The Company has a strong focus in the areas of CNS disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastroenterology, urology, pain management, animal health care, oncology and biotechnology. In the domestic market, the Company is rated amongst the top 20 pharmaceuticals companies. The Company has a strong presence in the European, UK, US and Latin American pharmaceutical markets. The Company operates state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and has expertise with a range of formulations from tablets to injectables. The Company has a fully integrated model encompassing formulation development, APIs and formulation manufacturing, and marketing. Total sales for 2008-2009 were 11.6 billion rupees (US$240 million). Additional information is available on the web at: http://www.intaspharma.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
    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