NanoViricides Drug Candidates to be Tested in Animal Models of Dermal, Ocular and Genital Herpes Virus Infection at the University of Wisconsin
SHELTON, Conn., March 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE American: NNVC) (the «Company») has announced that it has expanded its in vivo testing agreement with the University of Wisconsin to encompass testing its topical anti-herpes agents in animal models of HSV-induced dermal, ocular and genital herpes virus infections.
NanoViricides has previously reported excellent effectiveness of its earlier drug candidates in the HerpeCide™ program against the highly pathogenic, neurotropic strain of HSV-1, namely H129, leading to full survival of lethally infected mice. Since then, the Company has further improved these candidates. The resulting drug candidates have shown excellent efficacy in cell cultures against HSV-1, HSV-2, as well as VZV (aka the chickenpox virus, which is also the cause of shingles).
The Company’s drug development in the HerpeCide program for the dermal topical treatment of shingles is advancing rapidly towards the clinical stage. This is primarily a result of successful testing in a highly responsive collaboration with Professor Jennifer Moffat’s Lab at the Upstate Medical Center, State University of New York (SUNY) at Syracuse, NY, as previously reported by the Company.
The Company intends to advance the same drug candidates or closely related variants for the treatment of «cold sores» (orolabial herpes, primarily caused by HSV-1); genital ulcers caused by HSV-2, external eye infections caused primarily by HSV-1 (herpes keratitis), and internal ocular herpesvirus infections that are thought to lead to acute retinal necrosis (ARN).
The studies will be performed in the laboratory of Professor Curtis Brandt, Collaborative Ophthalmic Research Laboratories, CORL, at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Brandt is Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and Director of the Vision Research Core at the University of Wisconsin. Both Dr. Brandt and his staff have extensive experience working with different strains of the herpes virus, in relevant animal models.
«Successful testing of our drug candidates in animal models of the dermal, ocular, and genital herpesvirus diseases at the University of Wisconsin would enable us to rapidly move these drug candidates towards human clinical trials,» said Dr. Anil R. Diwan, President and Chairman of the Company, adding, «This will further bolster our pipeline and increase the total value of our HerpeCide assets several-fold, with minimal additional investments. The expansion of our agreement with the CORL at University of Wisconsin is thus very significant for creating substantially increased business value.»
The Company believes that its HerpeCide program is developing towards as many as five different indications as listed earlier.
The incidence of Herpes virus infection is increasing in the United States; the most common sites of infections are orolabial (cold sores), ocular and genital herpes. There is evidence that approximately half of the U.S. population may be infected and approximately 25% of those infected actually display clinical symptoms of infections. Two types of herpes virus are primarily responsible, HSV-1 and HSV-2. The Company believes that its anti-HSV agents are effective against all of HSV-1, HSV-2, and VZV.
Ocular herpes infection causes eye pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness, and sensitivity to bright light. Infection results in conjunctivitis, acute retinal necrosis and keratitis, depending on the location and severity of the infection. Herpes keratitis is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. It is estimated that there are over 50,000 cases of ocular herpes disease each year. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that has infected over 50 million people in the US alone. Current standard of care consists of the use of oral acyclovir or its analogues. There are no safe and effective topical treatments for shingles, genital herpes, or ocular herpes. In addition, treatments that can reduce recurrence rates of orolabial herpes («cold sores») and of genital herpes are highly sought after.
The Company has previously reported that the successful treatment results of evaluation of its anti-herpes candidates in a disease-relevant animal model of ARN were presented at the annual meeting of the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group (OMIG) of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in New Orleans on November 10th , 2017, by Vivien Boniuk, MD, consulting ophthalmologist to the Company.
NanoViricides, Inc. (www.nanoviricides.com) is a development stage company that is creating special purpose nanomaterials for antiviral therapy. The Company’s novel nanoviricide® class of drug candidates are designed to specifically attack enveloped virus particles and to dismantle them. The Company is developing drugs against a number of viral diseases including VZV, oral and genital Herpes, viral diseases of the eye including EKC and herpes keratitis, H1N1 swine flu, H5N1 bird flu, seasonal Influenza, HIV, Hepatitis C, Rabies, Dengue fever, and Ebola virus, among others.
CORL is a collaborative team of internationally recognized vision scientists founded on providing world-class vision research support for industry at the University of Wisconsin. CORL understands industry’s timeline-driven culture and can collaborate with industry via fee-for-service agreements.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Company’s current expectation regarding future events. Actual events could differ materially and substantially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors. Certain statements in this release, and other written or oral statements made by NanoViricides, Inc. are «forward-looking statements» within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Company’s control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the company’s expectations include, but are not limited to, those factors that are disclosed under the heading «Risk Factors» and elsewhere in documents filed by the company from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities. Although it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors, they may include the following: demonstration and proof of principle in pre-clinical trials that a nanoviricide is safe and effective; successful development of our product candidates; our ability to seek and obtain regulatory approvals, including with respect to the indications we are seeking; the successful commercialization of our product candidates; and market acceptance of our products.
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SOURCE NanoViricides, Inc.