Hemispherx Announces Biosecurity Program to Potentially Reduce Pandemic
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hemispherx Biopharma
(NYSE:HEB) announced that at the 2^nd International Conference on Biodefense
and Natural Disasters meeting in Orlando, FL on August 22, 2013, Professor Dr.
Juergen A. Richt, DVM, Ph.D., a scientific advisor to Hemispherx, described
his experiments in human lung cells evidencing that Alferon N Injection®, the
only multi-species, natural interferon approved in the U.S. for the treatment
of human refractory HPV genital warts, is biologically active, in low doses,
against various classes of viruses occurring naturally in animals and humans.
Dr. Richt is the Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center
of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, the Regents
Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University, and an Eminent Scholar of
Kansas Bioscience Association.
The increasing prevalence of oseltamivir-resistant Influenza A viruses,
particularly H7N9, has been widely reported and is due in large part to the
fact that just a single-step mutation in the neuraminidase gene of this
genetically unstable virus makes it resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu,
Relenza). Dr. Richt reported on this instability in 2010 in the peer-reviewed
Journal of General Virology, an international journal ("Viral reassortment and
transmission after co-infection of pigs with classical H1N1 and
triple-reassortant H3N2 swine influenza viruses",
Hemispherx believes that the results of Dr. Richt's recent Kansas State
University experiments, coupled with his work on reassortment and other
published studies, set the stage for evaluating the possibility that
mutational changes and reassortment could be prevented in animals by the use
of type I interferon and/or a type I interferon inducer.
Professor Richt's diverse experimental program, sponsored in part by the US
Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, European
Union, US Department of Agriculture, and private entities, focuses on
molecular mechanisms and pathogenesis of emerging pathogens in livestock
populations as a critical first step in promoting and causing human disease,
including various zoonotic viruses such as highly pathogenic influenza
viruses, H7N9 or H5N1(i.e., zoonotic agents).
New data regarding the genesis of pandemic flu, recently summarized by
researchers at the National Institutes of Health in "Pandemic Influenza
Viruses — Hoping for the Road Not Taken", David M. Morens, M.D., Jeffery K.
Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. N Engl J Med 2013;
368:2345-2348 June 20, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1307009, identifies viral
reassortment events occurring in farm animals as potential major contributors
to the eventual and inevitable jump into humans (cross-species
transmission).Professor Richt is recognized as an expert on zoonotic agents
(i.e., influenza, Prions, Rift Valley Fever, etc.) and has published
extensively on the monitoring of the mutations and the basic events leading to
cross-species transmission and the opportunities to adapt to its new human
host with the potential to cause a pandemic.
At the Orlando Conference, Dr. Richt described his ongoing research with
Alferon®, including in-vitro experiments directed against inhibiting
Tamiflu-resistant H7N9 influenza viruses. His laboratory results to date
suggest that Alferon® may be a promising candidate to treat the virulent, and
proved lethal Tamiflu-resistant H7N9 virus in animals and humans.Moreover,
Hemispherx's previous research suggests that Alferon^® may be active against a
range of viruses existing in animal populations even in the low dose oral
(LDO) formulation referred to as Alferon® LDO.
About Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, Kansas
CEEZAD, Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, was
officially inaugurated in June 2010, with its first annual conference held in
Manhattan, Kansas, home of Kansas State University. CEEZAD was formed to
enhance the capability of the US Department of Homeland Security by developing
"state of the art" countermeasures for high priority emerging and zoonotic
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University was established
in 1905. Since then, more than 5,000 men and women have been granted the
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Departments within the College of
Veterinary Medicine are anatomy and physiology, clinical sciences, diagnostic
About Hemispherx Biopharma
Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. is an advanced specialty pharmaceutical company
engaged in the manufacture and clinical development of new drug entities for
treatment of seriously debilitating disorders.Hemispherx's flagship products
include Alferon N Injection® and the experimental therapeutics Ampligen® and
Alferon® LDO.Ampligen® is an experimental RNA nucleic acid being developed
for globally important debilitating diseases and disorders of the immune
system, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.Hemispherx's platform technology
includes components for potential treatment of various severely debilitating
and life threatening diseases.Because both Ampligen® and Alferon® LDO are
experimental in nature, they are not designated safe and effective by a
regulatory authority for general use and are legally available only through
clinical trials.Hemispherx has patents comprising its core intellectual
property estate and a fully commercialized product (Alferon N Injection®),
approved for sale in the U.S. and Argentina.The Company's Alferon N approval
in Argentina includes the use of Alferon N Injection (under the brand name
"Naturaferon") for use in any patients who fail or become intolerant to
recombinant interferon, including patients with chronic active hepatitis C
infection.The Company wholly owns and exclusively operates a GMP certified
manufacturing facility in the United States for commercial products. For more
information please visit www.hemispherx.net.
Competing Interests Disclosure: Dr. Richt is a compensated Scientific
Adviser/Consultant for Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., a public company, and is a
stockholder in the company.
To the extent that statements in this press release are not strictly
historical, all such statements are forward-looking, and are made pursuant to
the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995.Words such as "believes," "potential," "potentially," "possibility,"
"may" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking
statements.The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded
as a representation by Hemispherx that any of its plans will be
achieved.These forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees
of future performance, and are subject to a variety of risks and
uncertainties, many of which are beyond Hemispherx's control, which could
cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these
forward-looking statements.Examples of such risks and uncertainties include
those set forth in the, above, as well as the risks described in Hemispherx's
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent
reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K.You are cautioned not to place undue
reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date
hereof, and Hemispherx undertakes no obligation to update or revise the
information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new
information, future events or circumstances or otherwise revise or update this
release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
CONTACT: Company/Investor Contact:
Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.
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