Hemispherx BioPharma, Inc (NYSE MKT:HEB)¬†announced that the Board has appointed Thomas Equels as the new President for Hemispherx Biopharma Inc. According to Peter Rodino, Chairman of the Audit Committee and an Independent Director, “On behalf of the Independent Directors, we are pleased to announce Equels’ expanded role in providing a strong new executive emphasis creating greater operational efficiencies through seeking to achieve significant operational savings. He will also have a clear mandate from the Board to strengthen internal controls, achieve enhanced governance, and create an environment for greater stockholder value. This strengthened executive role, we believe, will far better serve our corporate goals.”

Equels has served as Executive Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and General Counsel of Hemispherx. Equels’ experience and education provide a firm basis for his executive service. For more than thirty years his legal practice focused on complex business litigation, including cases related to corporate finance and market issues. For example, in 2008 he won Florida’s highly coveted “Most Effective Lawyer” award in the “Complex Business Litigation” category based upon obtaining for the Delaware Insurance Commissioner a $26.8 million judgment against Bear Stearns in a case which unraveled Bear Stearns’ abuses related to CMOs, a complex financial instrument. In a rare feat, that same year he also was awarded “Most Effective Lawyer” in the appellate category for a Florida Supreme Court win in an important medical records access case with major constitutional implications. Equels also has extensive experience in international matters; for example he has served for many years as international counsel for the Republic of Panama and also as litigation counsel for the People’s Republic of China’s Chinese National Petroleum Corp. He has worked extensively in Europe, as well as in South America, Asia and Africa. Equels received his Juris Doctor degree Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University and is a Bachelor of Science Summa Cum Laude graduate of Troy University, where he also received a management related Master of Science Degree. Equels has also demonstrated a strong commitment to civic duties. He was awarded, by order of the President of the United States, two Distinguished Flying Crosses for heroism in combat actions as a Cobra Gunship pilot during the Vietnam War. He has also received the Bronze Star, 15 Air Medals, 3 with “v” device for valor, the Purple Heart and the RVN Cross of Gallantry for his combat services in Vietnam. As a lawyer, he has been awarded the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award; the Federal Bar Association’s Public Service Award; The Guild of Catholic Lawyers’ St. Thomas More Award; and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. In 2012 Pope Benedict XVI, in one of the Vatican State’s highest honors for a layperson, made Equels a Papal Knight in the Chivalric Order of St. Gregory the Great. This award of knighthood was in recognition of his many years of service to the poor and disenfranchised in his community.

Dr. William Carter, Hemispherx’ Chairman and CEO and Chief Science Officer explains, “This is a logical progression of Mr. Equels’ extraordinary achievements across a wide range of initiatives in the company and will strengthen and provide additional depth in our executive leadership.”

Equels reaffirms his strong commitment to the future of Hemispherx, stating, “Under my leadership this Company will be absolutely committed to the goals of stronger financial performance and a renewed commitment to creating shareholder value. I say this not just because I believe in myself, but primarily because of my strong and unwavering belief in the importance of our flagship experimental drug Ampligen/Rintatolimod and our FDA approved drug Alferon as having great potential to play a significant role in the important and developing field of immunological therapy for a variety of diseases such as cancer and numerous acute and chronic viral infections. This is the reason I have become a major stockholder over the years and the reason I am prepared to serve as president.” (Original Source)

Shares of Hemispherx Biopharma closed yesterday at $0.18 . HEB has a 1-year high of $0.40 and a 1-year low of $0.17. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.20 and its 200-day moving average is $0.23.

Hemispherx Biopharma Inc is a specialty pharmaceutical company. It is engaged in the clinical development of new drug therapies based on natural immune system enhancing technologies for the treatment of viral and immune based chronic disorders.