SOURCE: Viral Genetics, Inc.

April 17, 2007 10:00 ET

Viral Genetics Builds African Advisory Team

AZUSA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 17, 2007 -- Viral Genetics, Inc. (OTCBB: VRAL) has retained two senior advisors as part of its African advisory team as the Company continues the development of VGV-1, the Company's HIV/AIDS product, in Africa. The two advisors joining the advisory team are Dr. Sam Gulube and Mr. Bada Pharasi.

Sam Gulube, MD, is the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Presidency of South Africa and the National Medical Director of the South Africa National Blood Service, which is the association responsible for monitoring and maintaining the blood supply of South Africa. From 2003 to 2006 Dr. Gulube served as CEO of the Universal Service Agency of South Africa, a national agency overseeing expanded access to telecom services throughout the country. While CEO there, he made significant strategic changes that turned around the organization and transformed its identify amongst community stakeholders. He has held various senior positions with the Medical Research Council of South Africa and the National Department of Health. Under Dr. Gulube's leadership at the MRC, the council and international partners led the establishment of a highly regarded program to deliver medical services remotely to communities in need. He also held appointments as a surgeon in the military and at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Gulube received his MD from the Morehouse School of Medicine in 1991.

Bada Pharasi, M.Pharm., is an experienced senior manager in the pharmaceutical industry with a track record of both private and public sector positions. While a civil servant, he was instrumental in the development of several national drug policy initiatives. Mr. Pharasi serves as a senior advisor with the "Rational Pharmaceutical Plan Plus" project, a program funded by USAID as part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This project is aimed at improving the use and availability of drugs, vaccines, and supplies in the public health sector. Mr. Pharasi also has extensive experience in the drug regulatory environment of South Africa, having served as Chief Director of Registration, Regulation and Procurement for the Department of Health, where he was responsible for policy development, implementation, budgeting and supervision including oversight of the Medicines Administration. The Medicines Administration is a support agency to the Medicines Control Council (the primary drug regulator in South Africa) and administers the Medicines and Relates Substances Control Act. Mr. Pharasi previously worked with Viral Genetics South Africa, the Company's former distributor in South Africa.

"We are honored to have these two leading South African health industry veterans assist and advise us as we continue our efforts to advance VGV-1 towards registration in the region," said Haig Keledjian, President of Viral Genetics, Inc. "We believe that this product must have a chance at being made available in Africa, and we are committed to seeing it progress towards that goal through continued study. Too many lives are at stake to do otherwise. At the same time, South Africa's advanced health care infrastructure represents a tremendous intermediate opportunity for us to generate valuable clinical data for VGV-1."

In recent studies, a reduction of HIV viral load was observed in a subset of patients after treatment with VGV-1 versus patients receiving placebo. As reported in the Company's poster presentation at the 2006 XVI International AIDS Conference, VGV-1 treated subjects also demonstrated apparent beneficial immunological changes when compared with placebo.

The World Health Organization estimates approximately 40 million people are now living with HIV. Even with the available treatments for AIDS, there are large numbers of people that need alternative therapies and hope remains that progress will be made in discovering new therapies that bolster patients' immune systems.

About VGV-1

VGV-1 is a therapy based on thymus nuclear protein which is extracted from bovine thymus tissue. As a type of immune-based therapy, it focuses on boosting the immune system to allow the body to fight HIV more efficiently. Thymus nuclear protein technology has been studied in five human clinical trials for the treatment of HIV infection and AIDS.

About Viral Genetics

Viral Genetics, Inc. is a biotechnology company that discovers and develops immune-based therapies for HIV and AIDS using its thymus nuclear protein compound. This compound may have other potential applications for other infectious, autoimmune, and immunological deficiency diseases that the company intends to study in the future. Viral Genetics believes that VGV-1 represents a significant and unique approach to treating HIV due to the apparently novel mechanism, low toxicity profile, simple dosing regimen, and short-course of treatment. Online at www.viralgenetics.com

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties associated with financial projections, clinical development, regulatory approvals, and other risks described by Viral Genetics, Inc. in periodic reports filed with the SEC. VGV-1 is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or by any comparable regulatory agencies elsewhere. While Viral Genetics believes that the forward-looking statements and underlying assumptions contained herein are reasonable, any of them could be inaccurate. Therefore, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements included herein, they should not be regarded as a representation by Viral Genetics or any other person that the objectives and plans of Viral Genetics will be achieved.

Contact Information

  • For additional information, please contact:
    Viral Genetics
    626-334-5310.