NanoViricides (NNVC) Says Topical Drug Candidates for Treatment of Shingles Demonstrated Excellent Inhibition of Causative Virus

June 6, 2017 5:31 PM EDT
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NanoViricides, Inc., (NYSE: NNVC) (the "Company"), a pioneer in developing anti-viral nanomedicine drugs, reports that its topical drug candidates in development for the treatment of shingles have demonstrated excellent inhibition of the causative virus with practically no cytotoxicity in cell culture assays using multiple cell lines.

Two of the nanoviricide drug candidates in the HerpeCide™ program demonstrated almost complete inhibition of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) at the highest drug doses, whereas acyclovir at the same drug dose exhibited partial inhibition of the virus. These comparative studies indicated that the antiviral effect of the herpecide drug candidates was almost five times superior to that of acyclovir. These studies were conducted using ARPE-19 cell line, which is a sensitive retinal cell line. Additional studies with another cell line, namely BS-C-1 produced comparable results. No cytotoxicity was observed at any of the doses tested for the herpecide drug candidates.

"We are excited with the excellent effectiveness and safety of these shingles antiviral drug candidates," said Dr. Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of the Company, adding, "We anticipate validation of our approach in skin culture studies as well. The human skin studies are already in progress in Professor Moffat's Lab at the SUNY Syracuse Upstate Medical Center. Taken together, these results will put us on a quick path towards an IND filing."

"We had strong confidence that the herpecide antivirals that we developed against HSV-1 would be effective against VZV as well. These studies validate our approach," said Anil R. Diwan, PhD, President and Chairman of the Company, adding, "Importantly, the drug candidates that were successful against VZV are simpler to manufacture than our drug candidates that were previously found to be successful against HSV-1 in animal studies. We believe that this will reduce our workload towards an IND filing and help accelerate our progress to the clinic."

Previously, the Company has demonstrated that treatment with certain herpecide drug candidates led to complete survival of small animals lethally infected with the aggressive and neurotropic HSV-1 strain H129c, wherein all of the untreated animals died. Those animal studies also reproducibly demonstrated dramatic improvements in clinical symptoms associated with herpes simplex virus infection, as illustrated by a complete absence of zosteriform spreading. Those animal studies were performed by TransPharm Preclinical Solutions ("TransPharm"), a pre-clinical services company in Jackson, MI, and by the laboratory of Dr. Ken S. Rosenthal at Northeast Ohio Medical University where Dr. Rosenthal then continued as a Professor Emeritus. Dr. Rosenthal is a leading researcher in herpes virus anti-viral agents and vaccines. He is now Professor of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, at the Roseman University of Health Sciences, Summerlin Campus, Las Vegas, NV.

The Company thereafter expanded its HerpeCide™ program into development of topical treatments for (a) herpes labials (HSV-1), (b) genital herpes (HSV-2), (c) shingles (VZV), and (d) herpes keratitis. Of these, the shingles treatment program is currently the most advanced and is rapidly moving towards clinical candidate selection.

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