|March 12, 2003
|HEMISPHERX ACQUIRES RIGHTS FOR THE ONLY FDA APPROVED NATURAL ALPHA INTERFERON DRUG Company Completes a $5,500,000 Private Placement Conference Call to be Held On Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 11:00am EST
|Philadelphia, PA, Wednesday, March 12, 2003: Hemispherx Biopharma Inc. (AMEX: HEB), a leading company in the experimental-stage development of immune based therapies primarily addressing the diseases of HIV/AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, announced today that it has acquired certain assets from Interferon Sciences, Inc. (IFSC), a biotechnology company, including the rights to its patented drug, the Alferon N Injection®, approved by the FDA for venereal warts and currently the only FDA approved natural interferon therapy.
Commenting on the acquisition, Dr. William Carter, President and CEO of Hemispherx, stated, “it is with much enthusiasm that with the help of both MRB as well as Cardinal Securities, LLC we have successfully completed the Interferon Sciences transaction. With the Company’s global vision to become the leading biopharmaceutical company focusing on immune based therapies and with our history as one of the first to pioneer Interferon at Johns Hopkins University, I feel that, in addition to Alferon’s potential for development as a synergistic combination therapy with Ampligen, natural interferon therapy may prove to have a significant value in treating certain viral infections. It has been recently reported that in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, recombinant (synthetic) interferon therapies seem to lose their benefits after one year, as published in the Lancet Medical Journal, Volume 361, Number 9357, on February 15, 2003, (www.thelancet.com). Thus, the acquired IFSC product portfolio will provide us with a substantial additional pipeline of clinical stage and commercially approved immune-based products potentially addressing critical unmet medical needs.”
“Furthermore, the senior management and scientific team of IFSC, which will be joining Hemispherx in various capacities, have a proven ability in successfully navigating the regulatory process and obtaining full pharmaceutical commercialization. We feel that these members will bring a significant value to the overall management team and believe that their interaction with our current and future product pipeline will result in further commercialization.”
“To maximize the benefits of these transactions, we will begin an active marketing campaign for Alferon and will be engaging in extensive educational efforts as well. In addition, we will be building on current strategic relationships and entering into new ones on a worldwide basis. We believe that revenues generated from Alferon sales will allow us to continue our clinical trials while minimizing the need for raising capital by dillutive means. Thus, we believe that this will result in substantial increases to shareholder value in the coming months.”
As a stand-alone product, Alferon represents a potential therapy to be used in a number of today’s debilitating viral infections. Combined with the Phase III experimental immunotherapeutic, Ampligen, we believe that Hemispherx has a unique broad based experimental platform of immune based therapies that shows substantial potential to benefit the scientific community regarding HIV/AIDS, CFS, hepatitis, bioterror, multiple sclerosis, cancer and various sexually transmitted viral infections.”
Commenting on the funding, Dr. Carter continued to say “with the diligent help of Cardinal Securities, LLC acting as placement agent, the funds raised through Ramius Capital Group (www.ramius.com) and Angelo, Gordon and Co. (www.angelogordon.com), will significantly speed our clinical development in addition to providing us with the funds to maximize the benefits of the IFSC transaction. More specifically, as our Phase III trial in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is currently fully enrolled, we expect data acquisition in the fourth quarter of this calendar year. These funds will also give us the capital needed to complete this process.”
Under the terms of the acquisition, Hemispherx will acquire the rights to IFSC’s FDA approved product, the Alferon N Injection®. HEB will also acquire the rights to IFSC’s experimental alpha-interferon products, including the Alferon N Gel® and Alferon LDO®. Hemispherx will also receive all IFSC interferon related patents, licenses, clinical data and forward revenues.
Additionally, IFSC is to receive Hemispherx common stock in the amount of $1,350,000 and an additional 125,000 shares. Hemispherx will also assume IFSC payables in the amount of approximately $300,000 as well as additional debt in the amount of approximately $1,500,000, two thirds of which will be retired with restricted Hemispherx common stock. Lastly, Hemispherx will assume a drug inventory with market value in excess of $7,000,000 as well as an FDA approved biological production facility in excess of 21,000 square feet located in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Further terms of the acquisition dictate that Hemispherx will not retain rights to IFSC’s public entity (ticker symbol IFSC on the OTCBB), which may develop additional technology outside the interferon field.
A conference call will be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 11:00am EST at which time Dr. Carter will explain the further details of the asset acquisition and the terms of the transaction. A further press release will be issued shortly with the contact details including how to participate in the conference call. Please note, however, that due to the overwhelming response to our last conference call, all questions are to be submitted prior to the call and they will be addressed during the last 15 minutes of the presentation.
To submit a question, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to (212) 495 – 0746, Attention: Wesley Stanton, Regarding: Hemispherx Conference Call.
Hemispherx Biopharma, based in Philadelphia, is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the manufacture and global clinical development of new drug entities in the nucleic acid (NA) class for chronic viral diseases and disorders of the immune system including, HIV, CFS and Hepatitis. Its platform technology includes large and small agent components for potential treatment of various chronic viral infections. For more information visit the company's web site at www.hemispherx.net.
About Interferon Sciences, Inc.
Interferon Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the study, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products based on its highly purified, natural-source, multispecies alpha interferon (Natural Alpha Interferon).
The Company's ALFERON N Injection® [Interferon alfa-n3 (human leukocyte derived)] product has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of certain types of sexually transmitted diseases and is being studied in clinical trials for the potential treatment of HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, cancer and other indications.
The Company also has other Natural Alpha Interferon formulations in various stages of development for the potential treatment of viral and immune system diseases.
Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., Investor Relations
Dianne Will (518) 398-6222, Fax: (518) 398-6223
Wesley Stanton, MRB Investor Relations
(212) 495-0200, Fax: (212) 495-0746
HEB's Web Site: www.hemispherx.net
Information contained in this news release other than historical information, should be considered forward-looking and is subject to various risk factors and uncertainties. For instance, the strategies and operations of Hemispherx involve risk of competition; changing market conditions, change in laws and regulations affecting these industries and numerous other factors discussed in this release and in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any specifically referenced investigational drugs and associated technologies of the company (including AmpligenÒ, Oragensä, Alferon LDO, and Alferon N Gel) are experimental in nature and as such are not designated safe and effective by a regulatory authority for general use and are legally available only through clinical trials with the referenced disorders. The forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of this release. The Company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Clinical trials for other potential indications of the approved biologic AlferonÒ do not imply that the product will be specifically approved commercially for these other treatment indications.