AMARILLO, TX--(Marketwire - February 13, 2009) -
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (OTCBB: AMAR
announced that the Taiwanese Department of Health has approved an
application to test Amarillo Biosciences' low dose oral interferon in a
Phase 2 hepatitis C clinical trial. CytoPharm, the Company's partner in
Taiwan, will fund and conduct a clinical trial of 165 chronic hepatitis C
patients in Taiwan. The patients will receive one of two different dosages
of oral human interferon alpha or placebo.
The aim of the trial is to reduce the relapse rate for those patients who
have completed the standard combination therapy, consisting of high dose
injectable interferon alpha and Ribavirin given orally. Although most
patients respond to the standard therapy, up to 50% of those with certain
viral genotypes relapse after treatment. The trial is expected to start in
the 2nd quarter of 2009 and to be completed in 2010.
Approximately 170 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C
virus worldwide. The incidence of cirrhosis in chronic hepatitis C
patients is 10 to 20%, and 1 to 5% develop liver cancer. Infections are
transmitted primarily by direct contact with blood through transfusions not
screened for hepatitis C virus, inadequately sterilized needles and
syringes, sexual and perinatal transmission. There is no effective vaccine
against hepatitis C virus.
In addition to studies on hepatitis C, under the terms of the License and
Supply Agreement, CytoPharm will be testing oral interferon in human
studies of chronic active hepatitis B and influenza.
About Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global
partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 11% of Amarillo
Biosciences shares and has provided over $18 million in loans, grants and
equity investments. The Company's primary focus is extensive and ongoing
R&D into the use of low-dose, orally administered interferon as a treatment
for a variety of conditions, including Sjogren's syndrome, Behcet's
disease, and opportunistic infections in patients who are HIV positive. In
its 23-year history, the Company has invested nearly $39 million to
establish oral interferon as a therapeutic agent. The majority of those
funds were invested in clinical trials in an effort to achieve FDA approval
for interferon. Additional information is available on the web site at
CytoPharm is a closely held company focusing on the development of
biopharmaceuticals for virus-infected diseases and cancers. It was founded
in 2002 by Ho Tung Chemical, Vita Genomics, and banks and venture capital
firms. It acquired core technologies from Gene Trol Therapeutics, Inc., a
California-based company through M&A. Its product pipelines contain a
series of cytokines induced by its proprietary technologies, used for
hepatitis, and cancers. Currently, its product is under clinical trials in
China. Both CytoPharm and Vita Genomics are affiliates of Ho Tung Chemical
Inc., one of the largest petrochemical companies in Taiwan, and a publicly
traded company whose 2007 revenues were approximately NTD 48 billion.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters
discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve
risks and uncertainties, including uncertainties related to product
development, uncertainties related to the need for regulatory and other
government approvals, dependence on proprietary technology, uncertainty of
market acceptance of oral interferon or the Company's other product
candidates and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In particular, see
"Item 1. Description of Business" of the Company's Form 10-KSB for the year
ended December 31, 2007.