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AVI BioPharma Reports Positive Pre-Clinical Influenza Data

PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 1, 2007 - AVI BioPharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVII) and collaborators presented pre-clinical data demonstrating effectiveness of NEUGENE(R) antisense compounds against seasonal influenza A virus in mice. Thomas G. Voss, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University School of Medicine, presented the data in poster form at the 20th International Conference on Antiviral Research on April 30, 2007.

In experiments sponsored by AVI and conducted at Tulane University School of Medicine and the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), mice were pre-treated with antisense phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMOs), and then infected with two different strains of influenza A (H3N2 and H1N1). Treated mice showed significantly reduced clinical signs (weight loss) and increased survival compared to control treated and untreated mice. In addition, PMO-treated mice showed significantly reduced viral titer (to below limit of detection) in comparison to untreated mice. Histological examination of the lungs showed that treated mice had reduced pathology when examined for infiltrating cells or alveolar damage.

"These data, in combination with other pre-clinical research, reinforce our belief that NEUGENE antisense compounds are potentially well-suited to treating seasonal influenza A infections," said Patrick L. Iversen, Ph.D., senior vice president of research and development at AVI. "Now that we have demonstrated efficacy against multiple strains of seasonal flu in this model, we intend to evaluate our compounds in additional animal models to test their potential efficacy against the H5N1 subtype of avian flu."

AVI's NEUGENE antisense drug development program against the influenza A virus targets genetic regions of the virus that are highly conserved across six viral subtypes that cause human diseas
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