Preparing For The Pandemic: Microbix Biosystems Inc. Makes Its Response Plan Freely Available To Other Employers And Employees

TORONTO, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Concerned about the lack of practical information on how to prepare for a possible pandemic, Microbix Biosystems Inc. has decided to share its influenza Pandemic Response Plan with other companies and individuals worldwide.

"There is very little useable information out there, so we felt that we had to do something to help families and businesses protect themselves in the event of a major flu pandemic," said William J. Gastle, President and CEO of Microbix.

Microbix's copyrighted response plan has now been posted on the company's website - - where it is available for viewing. Those wishing to copy the plan may do so free of charge with the permission of the company (requests can simply be emailed to Microbix at

"Our health care system would be overwhelmed by a pandemic and unable to handle everyone affected," Gastle noted. "That's why it is so important for employers and employees to have the necessary knowledge and tools. They need to know how to prepare and what to do in order to minimize their exposure to infection."

Microbix is a virology company that develops biotherapeutic drugs and vaccines. "Our scientists and researchers work with flu virus every day, so we have a lot of resident knowledge," said Gastle. "Our response plan is pragmatic, easily understood instructions advice and materials designed to help our employees protect themselves, their families, and our business as much as possible. Now we want everyone to have this information."

Many influenza experts believe that the avian flu will one day mutate into a virus that causes a global pandemic. "We think our Pandemic Response Plan will assist in protecting the lives of employees and their families as well as continued business operations," Gastle said.

The plan has been prepared to ensure that it is consistent with public health advice contained in published guidelines of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health, and, where applicable, the Centers For Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

There are four elements to the plan: - steps employees can take to protect themselves and their families - a suggested kit containing supplies needed to help minimize the risk of contracting the virus (Microbix is ordering such kits for its staff, and will be only too happy to direct other interested companies and individuals to the firm that is assembling these kits) - measures the company can take to manage its business during any disruptions - a pledge to work with customers to minimize interruptions in the supply of products

Microbix is advising employees to maintain a two to three months supply of essentials at home. Diapers, water, food, medicines, etc. should be stocked in case of retail disruptions.

In the event of an outbreak, it advises employees to minimize trips into the general public. When travel outside the home becomes required, the kit supplies should be used to reduce the risk of exposure to infection.

Microbix is also recommending that everyone get an annual flu vaccination. While this vaccine will not be effective against new flu strains which might trigger a pandemic, it will provide protection against the normal flu infections that occur during the winter and spring. This helps reduce the strain on the health care system and frees up resources to deal with a potential pandemic.

As part of its regular business, Microbix has been actively developing a new process that will significantly increase production yields of flu vaccines. This technology is now being evaluated by an independent influenza research laboratory for its use in avian flu vaccine production. This should be an important breakthrough in combating a pandemic since worldwide annual flu vaccine production is now only about 300 million doses.

"We want to make a difference in our ability, as a society, to respond to a pandemic. We're working on technology solutions, and we're hopeful that the information we're making available today will also help in this effort," Gastle stated.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. For instance, product development and field trials may proceed slowly or not at all and may not result in products that can be commercialized, savings by producers may not reach value estimates or at all and sales may not reach sales targets or be made at all. These forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Microbix Biosystems Inc.

CONTACT: visit or contact: William Gastle, President andCEO, Microbix Biosystems Inc., (416) 234-1624 x 230

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