PLANTATION, Fla., May 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viragen, Inc. (Amex: VRA) and its majority-owned subsidiary, Viragen International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VGNI), today reported that the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) has agreed to commence with a new series of in vivo studies (nonhuman primate models) to further determine the potential of Multiferon(R) (multi-subtype, natural human alpha interferon) as a potent, broad-acting anti-viral product capable of fighting certain "Category A" pathogens, a class of highly virulent viral threats, which have the potential to be used in biowarfare. "It is critical we identify products that can provide rapid medical defenses for a variety of potentially catastrophic viral threats, including viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Marburg and Ebola, both of which result in enormously high mortality rates," stated Lisa E. Hensley, Research Team Leader at USAMRIID. "Our initial in vitro evaluation studies showed that Multiferon(R) successfully demonstrated a protective effect on healthy cells subjected to these deadly infectious pathogens. USAMRIID's new series of studies are designed to expand upon the preliminary results by analyzing the effect of the drug in in vivo models that are very similar to human settings, making them a good indicator of the drug's broad-acting anti-viral properties in human use." "Through collaborative studies with USAMRIID and other biodefense research organizations, we are gathering evidence from independent sources in a cost- effective manner to position Multiferon(R) as a potential defense against unknown infectious agents when no vaccine exists, and/or be able to enhance the efficacy of vaccines. We look forward to these study results in the coming months," said Viragen's President & CEO, Charles A. Rice. Mr. Rice added that, in Multiferon(R), Viragen is delivering a highly innovative product that continues to demonstrate that all alpha interferons are not alike. "With a unique naturally glycosylated mixture of six alpha subtypes produced via our proprietary, patented manufacturing process, Viragen continues to collect data that supports new indications for Multiferon(R) beyond our European malignant melanoma strategy." To review the Category A, B & C Priority Pathogens as listed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), please visit: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/Biodefense/bandc_priority.htm While Viragen is not yet prepared to recommend Multiferon(R) as a prophylactic, preventive or treatment for any biodefense application, continued mounting scientific evidence will confirm or refute the Company's belief that Multiferon(R) shows immuno-protective and anti-viral activity against multiple viral targets, and holds the potential to be more effective than other anti-viral products. About USAMRIID: USAMRIID, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Biological Defense Research Program, and plays a key role in national defense and in infectious disease research. The Institute's mission is to conduct basic and applied research on biological threats resulting in medical solutions (such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to protect the warfighter. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the U.S. Government and no official endorsement should be inferred. About Viragen, Inc.: With global operations in the U.S., Scotland and Sweden, Viragen is a biotechnology company engaged in the research, development, manufacture and commercialization of pharmaceutical proteins for the treatment of viral diseases and cancers. Our product portfolio includes: Multiferon(R) (multi- subtype, natural human alpha interferon) targeting a broad range of infectious and malignant diseases; and humanized monoclonal antibodies targeting specific antigens over-expressed on many types of cancers. We are also pioneering the development of Avian Transgenic Technology, with the renowned Roslin Institute, as a revolutionary manufacturing platform for the large-scale, efficient and economical production of human therapeutic proteins and antibodies. For more information, please visit: http://www.Viragen.com Viragen, Inc. Corporate Contact: Douglas Calder, Director of Communications Phone: (954) 233-8746; Fax: (954) 233-1414 E-mail: email@example.com The foregoing press announcement contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by such terminology such as "believes," "expects," "potential," "plans," "suggests," "may," "should," "could," "intends," or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. In particular, management's expectations regarding future research, development and/or commercial results could be affected by, among other things, uncertainties relating to clinical trials and product development; availability of future financing; unexpected regulatory delays or government regulation generally; the Company's ability to obtain or maintain patent and other proprietary intellectual property protection; and competition in general. Forward-looking statements speak only as to the date they are made. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made.
SOURCE Viragen, Inc.