PHILADELPHIA, March 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (NYSE:HEB) ("Hemispherx" or the "Company") announced that the Company conducted its 9th Clinical Investigators Conference held March 3-6, 2011 in Islamorada, Florida, attended by a variety of prominent clinicians and scientists. The experimental drug, Ampligen®, is being tested as a potential therapeutic for CFS and a vaccine enhancer in both cancer and viral disease including pandemic flu. Various independent researchers presented their experiences and findings.
Dr. Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of the HIV/AIDS virus, discussed a number of retroviral topics including mechanisms of genetic variability and the problem of HIV reservoirs in the elimination of HIV despite targeted retroviral therapy. Dr. Judy Mikovits, Research Director, Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, presented a detailed review of the discovery of XMRV ("Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus") and MLV ("Murine Leukemia Viruses') variants found in CFS, as well as new data on these variants. The XMRV genome may contain a hormonal response element that may explain the disorder of the adrenal stress response pathway in some patients with CFS. Dr. Mikovits also discussed a cellular resistance mechanism as a possible human genetic factor in XMRV infection. Dr. Maureen Hanson, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Cornell University, presented corroborating results of her analytical work with Dr. David Bell on the presence of XMRV markers in a pediatric CFS cohort. She further provided an analysis of the relative sensitivities of PCR ("Polymerase Chain Reaction") markers of potential mouse contamination that should be used in PCR assays for XMRV and other related murine retroviruses in human samples. Dr. Frank Ruscetti of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviewed the evidence for an association between XMRV and prostate cancer.
Dr. Howard Urnovitz of Chronix Biomedical in San Jose, CA and Gottingen, Germany, presented information on "Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)" of serum DNA as a prognostic marker in cancer and neurogenerative diseases. The Chronix team used sequencing to assess whether there may be unique serum DNA sequences in the peripheral blood of patients with CFS. Dr. Lucinda Bateman, Director, Fatigue Consultation Clinic, Salt Lake City, UT, and Dr. Charles Lapp, Medical Director, Hunter-Hopkins Center, Charlotte, NC, both long term leading clinicians in CFS therapy, provided overviews of the potential value of developing assays for XMRV on CFS diagnosis and therapy. Dr. Pablo Beretta, Founder of the PHI Institute, a specialized center for research in CFS and Fibromyalgia in Argentina, provided a detailed presentation on the clinical management of CFS in Argentina, with an analysis of various viruses associated with CFS.