TAMPA, Fla. and OCALA, Fla., Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BioFlorida has announced Thomas K. Equels, Chief Executive Officer of AIM ImmunoTech Inc. (NYSE American: AIM), as its Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes an entrepreneur who has made extraordinary contributions to the growth of life sciences in the leadership of a company or institution. BioFlorida represents 6,700 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, healthIT and bioagriculture sectors.
Thomas K. Equels is the CEO of AIM ImmunoTech Inc., an Ocala, Fla.-based immuno-pharma company focused on the research and development of therapeutics to treat multiple types of cancers, immune disorders and viral diseases, including COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Equels’ successful legal career included extensive experience in the pharma sector. He has over the years served as a court-appointed receiver turning around businesses in a number of different fields. Equels received his J.D. with high honors from Florida State University. He is also a summa cum laude graduate (Bachelor of Science) of Troy University and obtained his Master of Science Degree from Troy. He also received Troy’s “Scholarship Award” as one of two graduates with a perfect GPA. Equels is also a highly decorated combat aviator, twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and 15 Air Medals, including three for extraordinary valor. In 2012, he was knighted by Pope Benedict as a knight of the Papal States.
“We are pleased to present Thomas K. Equels with this award for his contributions to the Florida life sciences industry and his ongoing passion and commitment to find solutions for the treatment of seriously debilitating disorders – including their work to fight COVID-19,” said Nancy K. Bryan, President and CEO of BioFlorida.
“Tom Equels is a deserving recipient of BioFlorida’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award. Tom left a highly successful legal practice in 2016 to assume the leadership role at AIM. In less than four years he has positioned Ampligen – its principal lead drug – in a large number of promising clinical trials, as well as established financial stability at AIM. Tom’s progress in proving the enormous potential of Ampligen has been remarkable,” said William Mitchell, MD, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AIM.
AIM’s flagship products are Ampligen (rintatolimod) and Alferon N Injection. Ampligen is being evaluated as a potential therapeutic for COVID-19, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), for multiple types of cancers and as a viral vaccine adjuvant. Alferon is a natural interferon that is approved in the U.S. and Argentina.
In a potential breakthrough, Ampligen has demonstrated the potential for standalone efficacy in the clinical setting in pancreatic cancer. In this regard, AIM recently announced receipt of statistically significant positive pancreatic cancer survival results from a multi-year Early Access Program conducted at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands.
Safety and efficacy of Ampligen is also being studied in several immuno-oncology clinical trials at highly respected NCI-Designated Cancer Centers; two of which are in combination with the checkpoint blockade drug pembrolizumab. The National Cancer Institute has awarded $14.5 million to Roswell Park to fund five immuno-oncology clinical trials. In addition, two Dept. of Defense “Breakthrough Awards” totaling approximately $15 million to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Moffitt Cancer Center for Ampligen studies are expected to commence in 2020-21 in brain-metastatic breast cancer.
AIM recently signed a clinical trial agreement with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center supporting an FDA-authorized Phase 1/2 clinical trial of Ampligen combined with Interferon Alfa-2b (clinicaltrials.gov/NCT04379518) to test the safety and effectiveness of the combination regimen to clear the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the upper airway in patients with cancer and mild-to-moderate COVID-19. AIM also recently signed a material transfer and research agreement with Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Shionogi, a leading global pharmaceutical company, to test Ampligen as a potential vaccine adjuvant for COVID-19. The pre-clinical testing and research is being conducted by their laboratories in Japan.
BioFlorida is the voice of Florida’s life science industry, representing 6,700 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceutical, medical technology, and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ 87,000 Floridians. [Source: The Value of Bioscience Innovation in Growing Jobs and Improving Quality of Life (TEConomy/BIO, 2016)] BioFlorida’s member driven initiatives provide a strong business climate for the advancement of innovative products and technology that improve lives and promote economic benefits to the state. Link to their website
About AIM ImmunoTech Inc.
AIM ImmunoTech Inc. is an immuno-pharma company focused on the research and development of therapeutics to treat multiple types of cancers, immune disorders and viral diseases, including COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For more information on AIM ImmunoTech, please visit www.aimimmuno.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Many of these forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. For example, significant additional testing and trials will be required to determine whether Ampligen will be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 or COVID-19-induced CFS-like cases or immuno-oncology in humans and no assurance can be given that it will be the case. Additionally, no assurance can be given as to whether the current or planned trials will be initiated and the trials are subject to many factors including lack of regulatory approval(s), lack of study drug, a change in priorities at the institutions sponsoring other trials or will require additional funding. Even if these clinical trials are initiated, we cannot assure that the clinical studies will be successful, or yield any useful data or require additional funding. Among other things, for those statements, we claim the protection of safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the PSLRA. We do not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof. Human clinical trials will be necessary to prove whether or not Ampligen will be efficacious in humans. No assurance can be given that future studies will not result in findings that are different from those reported in the studies referenced.
Courtney Cox, PR Counsel
Crescendo Communications, LLC
AIM ImmunoTech Inc
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b36f596a-c136-491f-b1bc-c45c02f778d9