|October 29, 2003
|HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA APPOINTS DR. LUC MONTAGNIER, LEADING HIV EXPERT, TO SERVE ON SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
| Growing Recognition for Potential of Ampligen attracts Discoverer of HIV/AIDS Virus & Pioneer in Disease Treatment and Prevention
Philadelphia, PA, Wednesday, October 29, 2003: Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (AMEX: HEB) announced today the appointment of Dr. Luc Montagnier to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Montagnier, who discovered the AIDS virus in 1983, today heads the “Aids and Retrovirus” Department at the Pasteur Institute, is Chairman of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, which he co-founded in 1993, and holds the position of Distinguished Professor at Queens College in New York.
“We are very pleased to have Dr. Montagnier as a member of our Scientific Advisory Board” said Dr. William A. Carter, the Company’s CEO. “We believe that the personal support of Dr. Montagnier for our ongoing clinical trials in HIV will enhance the Company’s profile worldwide and further validate our science.”
“I have always followed with great interest the progress of Hemispherx in the field of HIV” explained Dr. Montagnier. “The data from the ongoing HIV trials, presented earlier at different international scientific meetings, makes me believe that immune-based therapies, such as Ampligen®, may be the next step in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. It is exciting to become a part of these developments.”
Early Interferon Research set Stage for AIDS Discoveries
Dr. Montagnier has been an active researcher in oncology and virology for almost four decades. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s he focused on RNA tumor viruses and did extensive work on interferon in both animal and human systems. In 1983, as head of the Viral Oncology Unit at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, he and his colleagues discovered the human retrovirus, which later became known as HIV-1, the etiologic agent of AIDS. In 1985, his team isolated the second human AIDS virus, HIV-2. Since then, he has coordinated the work of a distinguished group of collaborators on the mechanisms of AIDS pathogenesis.
Professor Montagnier actively campaigns for new treatment efforts and his recommendations are widely covered by the world press and followed by government agencies. He is also responsible for numerous scientific publications on AIDS Research and is the author of the book “The Virus and Man”.
Hemispherx’ Clinical Trials in HIV with Experimental Immunotherapeutic
Hemispherx is currently conducting two Phase IIb Clinical Trials, AMP 719 and AMP 720, for the potential treatment of HIV/AIDS with its experimental compound, RNA-based Ampligen®. The AMP 719 Study is designed to evaluate the potential synergistic efficacy of the experimental stage immunotherapeutic, Ampligen® administration in multi-drug resistant HIV infected population for immune enhancement, as well as re-sensitization of the drug resistant patients to the medication on which they are failing due to the ability of the virus to mutate. The AMP 720 Study evaluates the effects of Ampligen® under Strategic Treatment Intervention (STI), when patients are taken off HAART drugs – AIDS “cocktails” – and remain on Ampligen® alone. A “vacation” from HAART may help avoid long-term toxicities and may enable the body to heal from drug-induced damage.
Hemispherx Biopharma, based in Philadelphia, is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the manufacture and clinical development of new drug entities for treatment of viral and immune-based chronic disorders. Its flagship products include Alferon and the experimental immunotherapeutics/antivirals Ampligen and Oragens. These novel proteins, approved for a category of STD infection, and experimental nucleic acids are being developed for globally important chronic viral diseases and disorders of the immune system including HPV, HIV, CFS and Hepatitis. Its platform technology includes large and small agent components for potential treatment of various chronic viral infections. Hemispherx has approximately 400 patents comprising its core intellectual property estate, a fully commercialized product (Alferon N) and GMP certified manufacturing facilities for its novel pharma products. The Company plans global clinical trials in the SARS disease arena where it has a proprietary position and the disease represents a major threat to human welfare. For more information please visit www.hemispherx.net
Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.,
Dianne Will, Investor Relations
(518) 398-6222, Fax: (518) 398-6369
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 and Oragensä) 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 ever be specifically approved commercially for these other treatment indications including SARS. The Alferon® asset for overseas sales for a category of STD is currently being acquired by the Company as part of a multi-step purchase contract of inventory, intellectual property, commercial licenses and GMP approved facilities, which house the biological operations.