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Hemispherx Announces Biosecurity Program To Potentially Reduce Pandemic Influenza Threat

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (NYSE MKT:HEB) announced that at the Options for the Control of Influenza VIII Conference in Cape Town, South Africa held 5-10 September, 2013, that a scientific advisor to Hemispherx, Professor Dr. Juergen A. Richt, DVM, Ph.D., Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD), Regents Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University, and an Eminent Scholar of Kansas Bioscience Association (KBA), described his experiments in human lung cells evidencing that Alferon N Injection ®, the only multi-species, natural interferon approved in the U.S. for the treatment of human refractory HPV genital warts, is biologically active, in low doses, against various classes of viruses occurring naturally in animals and humans.

The increasing prevalence of oseltamivir-resistant Influenza A viruses (IAVs), particularly H7N9, has been widely reported and is due in large part to the fact that just a single-step mutation in the neuraminidase (NA) gene of this genetically unstable virus makes it resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®). Dr. Richt reported on influenza genome instability " Viral reassortment and transmission after co-infection of pigs with classical H1N1 and triple-reassortant H3N2 swine influenza viruses" in 2010 in the peer-reviewed Journal of General Virology, an international journal.

The results of the recent Kansas State University experiments, coupled with Dr. Richt's work on reassortment and other published studies, set the stage for evaluating the possibility that mutational changes and reassortment could be prevented in animals by the use of type I interferon and/or a type I interferon inducer.

Professor Richt's diverse experimental program, sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, European Union, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and private entities, focuses on molecular mechanisms and pathogenesis of emerging pathogens in livestock populations as a critical first step in promoting and causing human disease, including various zoonotic viruses such as highly pathogenic influenza viruses, H7N9 or H5N1(i.e. zoonotic agents).

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