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Press Release

Hemispherx Biopharma Announces Identification of High Responder Patient Subgroup from Ampligen® Phase III Trial in Patients with CFS/ME


Posted on: 31 Oct 16

51% of patients in the high responder subset receiving Ampligen vs. 18% of placebo patients demonstrated improvement of at least 25% in exercise tolerance 

Data presented at the 12th International IACFS/ME Research and Clinical Conference: Emerging Science and Clinical Care

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 31, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hemispherx Biopharma (NYSE:HEB) ("Hemispherx" or the "Company") announced today that a retrospective analysis of the AMP-516 Phase III trial of Ampligen® in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), segmented primarily by disease duration, showed that 51% of Ampligen treated patients in a cohort with a disease duration of two to eight years vs. 18% of placebo patients demonstrated at least 25% improvement in placebo-adjusted exercise tolerance whereas the patient subset with less than two years or greater than eight years of disease duration failed to show a clinically-significant response. The data analysis was presented at the 12th International IACFS/ME Research and Clinical Conference: Emerging Science and Clinical Care in Fort Lauderdale, FL, October 27-30, 2016.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7644dc0f-f193-45c5-ba6a-8a958faa3ef8.

"Our AMP-516 clinical trial demonstrated a significant result on its primary endpoint, exercise tolerance testing (ETT), using the percent of patients that demonstrated improved exercise tolerance duration of at least 25%,” said Thomas Equels, CEO of Hemispherx. “The AMP-516 clinical trial was a major component of our successful commercial approval by ANMAT in the Republic of Argentina, making Ampligen the first ever approved therapy for ME/CFS. The objective of the analysis presented at the Conference was to identify a patient subgroup that demonstrated a more robust response, and which could be recruited for a possible future clinical trial. We are pleased to have identified such a subgroup in a patient population that currently has no effective treatment options. We look forward to our discussions with the FDA and plan to finalize a confirmatory phase III clinical trial design for Ampligen in CFS/ME."

The Phase III AMP-516 clinical trial was a multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled study looking at the safety and efficacy of Ampligen in patients with severely debilitating CFS/ME. Ampligen or saline was administered intravenously twice weekly for up to 40 weeks. The trial demonstrated that a significantly greater percentage of Ampligen patients (39%) vs. placebo patients (23%) demonstrated an improvement of exercise tolerance of greater or equal to 25% from baseline (16% placebo-adjusted improvement; p=0.013). This retrospective subgroup analysis evaluated response rates based on disease duration: between two and eight years and less than two years or greater than eight years. The analysis showed that 51% of Ampligen patients in the high responder cohort with two to eight year disease duration vs. 18% of placebo patients improved by at least 25% in exercise duration (33% placebo-adjusted improvement, p=0.003); whereas, Ampligen patients in the other group showed no significant exercise affect vs. placebo.

About Hemispherx Biopharma
Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. is an advanced specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the manufacture and clinical development of new drug entities for treatment of seriously debilitating disorders. Hemispherx’s flagship products include Alferon N Injection® and the experimental therapeutics Rintatolimod (tradenames Ampligen® or Rintamod®) and Alferon® LDO. Rintatolimod is an experimental RNA nucleic acid being developed for globally important debilitating diseases and disorders of the immune system, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Hemispherx’s platform technology includes components for potential treatment of various severely debilitating and life threatening diseases. Because both Rintatolimod and Alferon® LDO are experimental in nature, they are not designated safe and effective by a regulatory authority for general use and are legally available only through clinical trials. Hemispherx has patents comprising its core intellectual property estate and a fully commercialized product (Alferon N Injection®), approved for sale in the U.S. and Argentina. The FDA approval of Alferon N Injection® is limited to the treatment of refractory or recurrent external genital warts in patients 18 years of age or older. The Company’s Alferon N® approval in Argentina includes the use of Alferon N Injection® (under the pending brand name “Naturaferon”) for use in any patients who fail or become intolerant to recombinant interferon, including patients with chronic active hepatitis C infection. Rintamod® has received approval in the Argentine Republic to treat severe cases of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). It will be marketed by GP Pharm, Hemispherx’s commercial partner in Latin America. The Company wholly owns and exclusively operates a GMP certified manufacturing facility in the United States for commercial products. For more information please visit www.hemispherx.net.

Forward-Looking Statements
To the extent that statements in this press release are not strictly historical, all such statements are forward-looking, and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “intends”, “plans”, “potential”, “potentially”, “possible” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Hemispherx that any of its plans will be achieved. These forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees of future performance, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Hemispherx’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include those set forth in the Disclosure Notice, below, as well as the risks described in Hemispherx’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and Hemispherx undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise revise or update this release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

Disclosure Notice
The information in this press release includes certain "forward-looking” statements including without limitation statements about additional steps which the FDA may require and Hemispherx may take in continuing to seek commercial approval of the Ampligen® NDA for the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the United States. The final results of these and other ongoing activities could vary materially from Hemispherx’s expectations and could adversely affect the chances for approval of the Ampligen® NDA in the United States and other countries. The clinical studies referenced herein have been previously reviewed by the FDA and are not, in and of themselves, a sufficient basis for approval in the United States. Any failure to satisfy the FDA regulatory requirements or the requirements of other countries could significantly delay, or preclude outright, approval of the Ampligen® NDA in the United States and other countries.

Information contained in this news release, other than historical information, should be considered forward-looking and is subject to various risk factors and uncertainties including, but not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors; the Company’s ability to adequately fund its projects; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and healthcare legislation in the United States and internationally; trends toward healthcare cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the Company’s ability to accurately predict the future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; dependence on the effectiveness of the Company’s patents and other protections for products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions; and numerous other factors discussed in this release and in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The production of new Alferon® API inventory will not commence until the validation phase is complete. While the facility is approved by FDA under the Biological License Application ("BLA”) for Alferon®, this status will need to be reaffirmed by a successful Pre-Approval Inspection by the FDA prior to commercial sale of newly produced inventory product. The validation phase was delayed because of the damage caused by the flood that occurred on January 5, 2016 at the facility. At this time, we believe that all repairs to the manufacturing facility have been completed.  If and when we obtain a reaffirmation of FDA BLA status and have begun production of new Alferon® API, we will need FDA approval as to the quality and stability of the final product to allow commercial sales to resume. With regard to our NDA for Ampligen® to treat CFS, we note that there are additional steps which the FDA has advised us to take in our seeking approval. The final results of these efforts and/or any other activities could vary materially from Hemispherx’s expectations. Any failure to satisfy the FDA regulatory requirements or the requirements of other countries could significantly delay, or preclude outright, approval of Ampligen® in the United States and other countries. No evidence is suggested that Ampligen® will be commercially approved for any treatment or that Alferon N Injection® will be commercially approved for potential new treatment indications or for new manufacturing procedures. Approval of Rintamod® for CFS in the Argentine Republic does not in any way suggest that the Ampligen® NDA in the United States will obtain commercial approval. Also, it is noted that ANMAT approval is only an initial, but important, step in the overall successful commercialization. Namely, additional steps required for commercialization in Argentina will require, among others, an appropriate reimbursement level, appropriate marketing strategies, completion of manufacturing preparations for launch (including possible requirements for approval of final manufacturing, etc., and there are no assurances as to whether or when such multiple subsequent steps will be successfully performed to result in an overall successful commercialization and product launch).

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

GlobeNewswire
globenewswire.com

Last updated on: 01/11/2016

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