SOURCE: Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

April 15, 2009 10:24 ET

Amarillo Biosciences Supplies Oral Interferon for Australian Human Influenza Study

AMARILLO, TX--(Marketwire - April 15, 2009) - Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (AMAR) (OTCBB: AMAR) today announced that the company shipped clinical supplies to Perth, Australia to be used in a human clinical study conducted by Associate Investigator Dr. Manfred Beilharz, Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, The University of Western Australia . Healthy adult volunteers will be screened and enrolled this month and will given oral interferon or placebo starting May 4. This date was selected to allow up to 200 volunteers to start treatment prior to the June-August peak cold and flu season in Perth. The treatment will continue daily for 4 months. The study will determine if oral interferon supplied by AMAR will help reduce the incidence, duration and severity of naturally occurring colds and flu.

Dr. David Smith, Principal Investigator, said, "Interferon had been used as a treatment for respiratory viruses for many years but the Perth trial will use a lower dose that will be given orally rather than as a nasal spray or injection. This is a pioneering trial and the idea is that it gives a broad protection against a range of respiratory infections because it's aimed at boosting immunity rather than being directed at a specific virus. If we get the promising results expected, we'll be looking at this as a springboard for a larger trial that could change the way we look at preventing infections, and add a new weapon in our fight against a range of respiratory illnesses."

Dr. Beilharz said, "This important clinical trial was implemented because of the published reports that oral or intranasal interferon prevents and/or treats influenza in humans, mice, guinea pigs and ferrets. Since influenza virus is able to develop resistance against the anti-viral drugs on the market, we need to determine if this natural protein, interferon, in low oral doses, is an inexpensive non-toxic alternative to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and other anti-viral drugs."

Dr. Joseph Cummins, President and CEO of AMAR, said, "A recent publication in the Journal of Virology reported that human interferon administered once a day (on days -1, 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 after infection) in the nose of guinea pigs will block or reduce replication of flu virus in the upper airways and result in less severe pneumonia. This publication is additional compelling evidence that our low-dose interferon may offer a reasonable alternative to expensive, toxic antiviral drugs for influenza."

About Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.

Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 11% 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 Sjogren's syndrome, 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" of the Company's Form 10-KSB 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