PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (NYSE MKT:HEB) (the "Company" or "Hemispherx") today announced that the Board has appointed Thomas Equels as the new Chief Financial Officer and Adam Pascale as the new Chief Accounting Officer for Hemispherx Biopharma Inc. According to Mr. Equels, "With the recent departure of our prior Senior Vice President, who was largely responsible for both finance and market issues, and the recent resignation of our former CFO/CAO, we have an opportunity to restructure all of these functions with existing personnel. The Company is projected to significantly reduce expenditures with the restructuring and thereby achieve significant operational savings which will far better serve our missions in drug development. The Company is absolutely committed to the goals of stronger financial leadership, disciplined cost controls and a renewed commitment to creating shareholder value."
Mr. Equels currently serves as Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary and General Counsel of Hemispherx. Mr. Equels' experience and education provide a firm basis for his service as Chief Financial Officer. For more than thirty years his legal practice focused on complex business litigation, including cases related to corporate finance and market issues. For example, in 2008 he won Florida's highly coveted "Most Effective Lawyer" award in that category based upon obtaining for the Delaware Insurance Commissioner a $26.8 million judgment against Bear Stearns in a case which unraveled Bear Stearns' abuses related to CMOs, a complex financial instrument. He also has extensive experience in international matters, for example he has served as counsel for the Republic of Panama and the People's Republic of China's Chinese National Petroleum Corp. He has worked extensively in Europe, as well as in South America, Asia and Africa. Mr. Equels received his Juris Doctor degree Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University and is a graduate Summa Cum Laude of Troy University, where he also received a management related Master's Degree. Mr. Equels has also demonstrated a strong commitment to civic duties. He was awarded, by order of the President of the United States, two Distinguished Flying Crosses for heroism in combat actions as a Cobra Gunship pilot during the Vietnam War. He has also received the Bronze Star, 15 Air Medals, 3 with "v" device, and the Purple Heart for his combat service. As a lawyer, he has been awarded the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award, 1987; the Federal Bar Public Service Award, 1987; The Guild of Catholic Lawyers' St. Thomas More Award, 1991; and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award, 1995. In 2012 Pope Benedict XVI, in one of the Vatican's highest honors, made Mr. Equels a Papal Knight in the Order of St. Gregory the Great in recognition of his many years of service to the poor and disenfranchised in his community as well as service to the church.
Mr. Pascale has been the Controller at Hemispherx for eighteen years, with twenty four years of public accounting experience and prior public company experience. His degree is from Rutgers University in Accounting and he served for many years as a CPA prior to joining Hemispherx. He is a member of both the American and the Pennsylvania Institutes of Certified Public Accountants. According to Mr. Equels, "Adam has the education and experience to excel in the function of Chief Accounting Officer. I look forward to working with him to create a stronger, better, Hemispherx."