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.
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
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.
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
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.