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Joseph F. O'Neill, M.D., Former Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, Joins The Immune Response Corporation as CEO and President
 
 
  CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)----The Immune Response Corporation (Nasdaq Capital Market:IMNR) announced today the appointment of Joseph F. O'Neill, M.D., M.P.H. as its new Chief Executive Officer and President, succeeding John N. Bonfiglio, Ph.D. Dr. O'Neill comes to The Immune Response Corporation after a distinguished career leading federal AIDS policy at the White House, the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State. Dr. O'Neill was chief architect of the President's 2003 Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, a $15 billion U.S. Government-led global initiative to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He will leverage his extensive experience and relationships in public health initiatives to lead the Company in the ongoing development of its products for HIV and multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. O'Neill will also serve on the Company's Board of Directors.
 
"I am thrilled to take on this challenge and dedicate my efforts to the development of Immune Response's products, which represent a powerful new therapeutic approach," said Dr. O'Neill. "I am acutely aware of the need for new HIV therapies. An effective immune-based therapy would make an enormous contribution in the fight against HIV/AIDS, enabling entirely new approaches to treatment. Similarly, there is a great need for new MS treatments. After careful review of the Company's recent scientific developments, I believe that we can successfully complete the necessary clinical trials and form the public and private partnerships required to advance these important new treatments."
 
The Immune Response Corporation's products for HIV are based on its patented whole-inactivated virus technology and are intended to help restore a patient's immune system to fight the HIV infection. REMUNE(R), currently in Phase II clinical trials, is being developed as a first-line treatment for people with early-stage HIV. A new HIV immune-based therapy, IR103, which incorporates a Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist-based adjuvant from Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMEX:IDP), is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials. Further, the Company is developing NeuroVax(TM), an immune-based therapy for MS, which is also in Phase II.
 
Dr. O'Neill has an extensive record of public service spanning multiple administrations. He served as Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State. During his tenure, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator oversaw the disbursement of $2.4 billion to over 100 countries in the first year of operations. Prior to that position, Dr. O'Neill was the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy where he spearheaded the development of PEPFAR, and coordinated the successful legislative strategy resulting in the passage by Congress of the U.S. Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003.
 
Previously, Dr. O'Neill also served as the Acting Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services, coordinating the Department's $30 billion HIV/AIDS program. He also served as Director of the HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, responsible for management of the $1.9 billion Ryan White CARE program, the nation's largest healthcare program serving people living with AIDS.
 
"I can't think of a more capable and accomplished person than Joe O'Neill to lead our Company into its next era," said Bob Knowling, Chairman of the Board of The Immune Response Corporation. "Joe brings a unique perspective from his work on the front lines treating patients and his understanding of the plight of those suffering from this epidemic, combined with unparalleled experience implementing global health initiatives. We are honored that he will put that same passion, dedication and experience to work at the Immune Response Corporation."
 
Dr. O'Neill is a practicing HIV/AIDS physician and a member of the faculties of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He was also previously on the medical staff of the Chase Brexton Clinic, a community-based AIDS clinic in Baltimore. A graduate of the School of Medicine of the University of California at San Francisco, Dr. O'Neill also received Master's degrees in public health and medical sciences and a Bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley.
 
About The Immune Response Corporation
 
The Immune Response Corporation (Nasdaq Capital Market: IMNR) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to becoming a leading immune-based therapy company in HIV and MS. The Company's HIV products are based on its patented whole-inactivated virus technology, co-invented by Company founder Dr. Jonas Salk to stimulate HIV immune responses. REMUNE(R), currently in Phase II clinical trials, is being developed as a first-line treatment for people with early-stage HIV. The Company has initiated development of a new immune-based therapy, IR103, which incorporates a Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist-based adjuvant and is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials in Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom.
 
The Immune Response Corporation is also developing an immune-based therapy for MS, NeuroVax(TM), which is currently in Phase II clinical trials and has shown potential therapeutic value for this difficult-to-treat disease.
 
Please visit The Immune Response Corporation at www.imnr.com.
 
Required NASDAQ Disclosure

 
To further align Dr. O'Neill's interests with those of Immune Response stockholders, the Company's Board of Directors granted Dr. O'Neill an inducement stock option award. NASDAQ rules require disclosure of the terms of such awards. Dr. O'Neill received an option to buy 6,000,000 shares of Immune Response common stock at an exercise price of $0.32 per share. The option is subject to vesting requirements, as follows: 3,000,000 of the options shall vest quarterly over two years subject to Dr. O'Neill's continuation of service as CEO; and the remaining 3,000,000 options shall all vest in 2012, subject to Dr. O'Neill's continuation of service as CEO, unless they vest earlier based upon attainment of performance milestones which may be mutually agreed upon in the future by the Company and Dr. O'Neill.
 
Forward-looking Statements
 
This news release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often signaled by forms of words such as should, could, will, might, plan, projection, forecast, expect, guidance, potential and developing. Actual results could vary materially from those expected due to a variety of risk factors, including whether the Company will continue as a going concern and successfully raise proceeds from financing activities sufficient to fund operations and additional clinical trials of REMUNE(R), NeuroVax(TM) or IR103, the uncertainty of successful completion of any such clinical trials, the fact that the Company has not succeeded in commercializing any drug, the risk that REMUNE(R), NeuroVax(TM) or IR103 might not prove to be effective as either a therapeutic or preventive vaccine, whether future trials will be conducted and whether the results of such trials will coincide with the results of REMUNE(R), NeuroVax(TM) or IR103 in preclinical trials and/or earlier clinical trials, and any transition issues related to the hiring of Dr. O'Neill. A more extensive set of risks is set forth in The Immune Response Corporation's SEC filings including, but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 and its subsequent Quarterly Reports filed on Form 10-Q. The Company undertakes no obligation to update the results of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after today or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
 
REMUNE(R) is a registered trademark of The Immune Response Corporation. NeuroVax(TM) is a trademark of The Immune Response Corporation.
 
The Immune Response Corporation Media Contact: Sam Brown Inc. Corporate Communications Laura Silver, 323-848-2051 silver@sambrown.com or Investor Contact: Michael K. Green, Chief Financial Officer, 760-431-7080 info@imnr.com
 
 
 
 
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