Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) (OTCBB: AMAR) reported that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently confirmed that a household cat in Iowa developed signs of respiratory infection caused by H1N1 influenza virus. The AVMA report adds cats to the growing list of animals, including ferrets, hogs (most recently in Indiana and Taiwan) and turkeys reported to be infected by H1N1 influenza virus.

The present pandemic H1N1 is a swine virus, meaning it has already acquired genetic information from viruses that co-infect swine. The report of jumps of the H1N1 virus from humans into hogs, ferrets, cats and turkeys increases worries that the H1N1 virus can readily jump to many species. Transmission of H1N1 virus to hogs has been reported at an increasing frequency. Flu infections in hogs in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America have now been reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (cdc) maintains an H1N1 Flu Situation Update at cdc/h1n1flu/update.htm, which reports a widespread pandemic occurring in 48 states. The flu pandemic, according to CDC, is more severe than in a "typical" flu season: 126 U.S. children have already died as a result of the H1N1 virus, a tally that is significantly higher than normal.

Dr. Joseph Cummins, President & CEO, ABI, said, "Any possible H1N1 mutations that worsen the virus' effect on humans could limit the effectiveness of vaccines or other prophylactic measures. Fortunately, oral or intranasal interferon alpha has been reported by scientists in France, Italy, Germany, Taiwan and the USA to be safe and beneficial in controlling viral diseases in cats, hogs, ferrets and poultry, regardless of mutations occurring."

A Phase 2 clinical trial of ABI's low-dose oral interferon is ongoing in Australia in 200 healthy human volunteers exposed to the H1N1 influenza virus and other respiratory viruses during the local influenza season.

Dr. Manfred Beilharz, one of the principal investigators in Australia, said, "Our study was conducted based on human results published in Russia and Bulgaria. Our study is expected to validate results of human clinical trials published years ago, which reported that low-dose interferon given orally or intranasally is safe and effective against influenza virus."

Results of this important Australian study are expected within a month. ABI recently announced that clinical trials testing low-dose oral interferon as treatment of influenza are planned in India. ABI is also planning influenza studies in other countries, including the USA.

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