SAN MARINO, Calif., April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg, a Nobel Prize winning scientist and advisor to Viral Genetics, Inc. (Pinksheets: VRAL), died April 5 at the age of 85. Dr. Blumberg died after apparently suffering a heart attack while attending a conference at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field near San Jose, California.
"We are very sad to hear of Dr. Blumberg's passing, and our condolences go out to his friends and family," said Viral Genetics' CEO, Haig Keledjian. "His insights and life-saving work have truly been an inspiration to me personally and those with whom he worked. His humble nature also just made it a pleasure to be around Dr. Blumberg and to work with him. He will be sorely missed."
Dr. Baruch S Blumberg, MD, Ph.D., joined the Viral Genetics advisory board in 2010. As the leading expert on the HBV virus, Dr. Blumberg assisted Viral Genetics and lead Research Dr. M. Karen Newell Rogers in understanding the genetics of chronic HBV infection in the pursuit of a Targeted Peptide-based compound to treat it. "I am deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Blumberg," said Newell Rogers. "He was an amazing human being who can be credited with saving millions of lives as a result of his discoveries and his dedication to humanity."
Dr. Blumberg discovered the Hepatitis-B virus and developed a diagnostic test for its detection, and was a co-recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He and a colleague, Irving Millman, also created the first retroviral vaccine for protection from Hepatitis-B. Over 1 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered since 1982, with chronic infection rates among children plummeting in many countries. As a result, Dr. Blumberg has been credited with saving millions of lives.
About Viral Genetics, Inc.
San Marino, California-based Viral Genetics discovers drug therapies. Founded in 1994, the biotech company is researching treatments for HIV/AIDS, Lyme Disease, Strep, Staph and drug resistant tumors. A majority-owned subsidiary called VG Energy (www.vgenergy.net) is dedicated to exploring biofuel and agricultural applications for one of the technologies in its licensed portfolio. Online at www.viralgenetics.com
SAFE HARBOR FOR FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties associated with financial projections, budgets, milestone timelines, clinical development, regulatory approvals, and other risks described by Viral Genetics, Inc. from time to time in its periodic reports. None of Viral Genetics' drug compounds are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or by any comparable regulatory agencies elsewhere in the world. While Viral Genetics believes that the forward-looking statements and underlying assumptions reasonable, any of the assumptions could be inaccurate, including, but not limited to, the ability of Viral Genetics to establish the efficacy of any of its drug therapies in the treatment of any disease or health condition, the development of studies and strategies leading to commercialization of those drug compounds in the United States, the obtaining of funding required to carry out the development plan, the completion of studies and tests on time or at all, and the successful outcome of such studies or tests. Therefore, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements included herein, the forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Viral Genetics or any other person that the objectives and plans of Viral Genetics will be achieved.
Viral Genetics, Inc.
SOURCE Viral Genetics, Inc.