MacReport Media Publishing Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) has announced that the treatment phase in its Phase 2 dose-ranging clinical trial of 169 hepatitis C patients has been completed.
Subjects were given low-dose oral interferon or placebo for 24 weeks to judge the effect on the relapse rate in hepatitis C patients who achieved virologic remission after treatment with Ribavirin and high-dose injectable interferon.
The treatments will be unblinded after subjects complete a 6-month untreated observation period, with final results expected in early 2012. Currently, there are no FDA-approved products for preventing relapse in hepatitis C patients after initial treatment.
Relapse can be as high as 60% with some genotypes of hepatitis C virus, so a product that reduces the relapse rate will address a major unmet medical need.
ABI is actively seeking funding for oral interferon research in the area of viral respiratory diseases as a follow-up to positive findings from the company's flu treatment and prevention study conducted in Australia.
One planned target of study is the annual Hajj pilgrimage, during which millions of Muslims travel from 120 countries to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The congregation of these pilgrims from many different countries results in widespread symptomatic respiratory tract infections, which puts a tremendous strain on Saudi Arabia's medical facilities.
"Our product offers a possible solution to this critical problem because animal studies have shown that low-dose oral interferon reduces the severity and duration of viral respiratory tract disease during comingling," stated Dr. Joseph M. Cummins, President and CEO of ABI.
In other developments, the company has engaged Interactive Business Alliance, LLC of San Diego to help with public relations and communications services.
Moreover, KracklePop Design of Roswell, New Mexico has been engaged to help create the branding for ABI's new dietary supplement that promotes health and enhances immunity, which is to be launched later this year.