PORTLAND, Ore. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- CytoDyn Inc. ("CytoDyn") (OTC QB: CYDY), a biotechnology company focused on the development of new therapies for combating infection with immune deficiency viruses, today announced that it has entered into a consulting agreement with former U.S. Ambassador Sam Zakhem.
Having served as U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain during the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations, Mr. Zakhem will assist the Company in developing business relationships in the Middle East, ultimately strengthening the company’s efforts and overall growth. Given Ambassador Zakhem’s esteemed background, this agreement will serve as an excellent resource as CytoDyn moves forward in the future. This initial four-month engagement began on December 31, 2012.
A native of Lebanon, Mr. Zakhem has served as a diplomat, Colorado state legislator and business executive, including as president of Zakhem International for more than twenty years. He previously served as Vice-President for Economic Affairs at Rocky Mountain Orthodontics. In addition to his diplomatic post, his policy experience includes service as a White House Advisor on the Peace Corps, a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Member of the American Bicentennial Ethnic Committee. He also served as a Colorado State Senator and Member of the Colorado State House of Representatives. He began his career at the Heritage Foundation, the Center for International Students at the University of Denver and Ford Motor Co.
“Ambassador Zakhem’s experience and relationships in the Middle East will support CytoDyn in several ways,” said President and CEO Nader Pourhassan. “His business acumen and unique knowledge of the region will be an important asset to our team as we continue to pursue our development objectives in 2013.”
“CytoDyn is on an exciting trajectory that I look forward to supporting,” said Ambassador Zakhem. “I look forward to leveraging my experience and networks in the Middle East to expand awareness of the company’s important work and build valuable partnerships that support those efforts.”
CytoDyn is a biotechnology company focused on the development of new therapies for combating infection with immune deficiency viruses and other antibody applications. Its proprietary drug candidate PRO 140 is a humanized monoclonal antibody which has demonstrated the ability to block the entry of HIV virus into human white cells by binding to a cell surface protein known as CCR5. PRO 140 has completed Phase I and Phase IIa human clinical trials. CytoDyn intends to continue to develop PRO 140 as a therapeutic anti-viral agent in persons infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (“HIV”). In addition, CytoDyn is exploring the possible application of another proprietary monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (“FIV”), a retroviral infection in cats. CytoDyn recently filed for a provisional patent for the use of these anti-FIV antibodies as well as selected small molecule antagonists and agonists for the treatment of FIV, and filed an application for registration of the trademark CytoFeline, intended for use in conjunction with veterinary preparations for the treatment of FIV. For more information please go to www.cytodyn.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of United States securities laws. These statements and information represent CytoDyn’s intentions, plans, expectations and beliefs, and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, of which many are beyond CytoDyn’s control. These factors could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements or information. The words "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "attempt," "anticipate," "foresee," "plan," and similar expressions and variations thereof, identify certain of such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. CytoDyn disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements or forward-looking information.
While it is impossible to identify or predict all such matters, these differences may result from, among other things, the inherent uncertainty of the timing and success of, and expense associated with, research, development, regulatory approval and commercialization of our products and product candidates, including the risks that clinical trials will not commence or proceed as planned; products appearing promising in early trials will not demonstrate efficacy or safety in larger-scale trials; future clinical trial data on our products and product candidates will be unfavorable; our products will not receive marketing approval from regulators or, if approved, fail to gain sufficient market acceptance to justify development and commercialization costs; competing products currently on the market or in development may reduce the commercial potential of our products; CytoDyn, our collaborators or others may identify side effects after the product is on the market; or efficacy or safety concerns regarding marketed products, whether or not scientifically justified, may lead to product recalls, withdrawals of marketing approval, reformulation of the product, additional pre-clinical testing or clinical trials, changes in labeling of the product, the need for additional marketing applications, or other adverse events.
We are also subject to additional risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with the actions of our corporate, academic and other collaborators and government regulatory agencies; risks from market forces and trends; potential product liability; intellectual property, litigation, environmental and other risks; and risks that current and pending patent protection for our products may be invalid, unenforceable or challenged, or fail to provide adequate market exclusivity. There are also substantial risks arising out of our need to raise additional capital to develop our products and satisfy our financial obligations; the highly regulated nature of our business, including government cost-containment initiatives and restrictions on third-party payments for our products; the highly competitive nature of our industry; and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.