WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- April 4, 2011 -- NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC) (the "Company") reports that post-infection treatment with its optimized FluCide™ drug candidates resulted in dramatic reduction in the number of lung lesions that are caused by a lethal influenza virus infection. These findings were seen in the most recent H1N1 influenza animal study.
Four days post virus infection, animals treated with three of the optimized FluCide™ nanoviricide drug candidates exhibited greater than 95% reduction in the number of lung lesions as compared to the infected yet untreated control animals (p-values < 0.001). In contrast,animals treated with Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®, Roche) showed only a 50% reduction. In another significant finding, no increase in the number or size of the lung lesions was observed over the entire duration of the study in the FluCide™-treated animals. . This was not the case for the Oseltamivir-treated animals. This demonstrated that treatment with FluCide drug candidates provided clear and strong protection against lung damage caused by the severe influenza infection.
The studies were conducted by Dr. Krishna Menon, PhD, VMD, MRCS, at KARD Scientific, MA. One million virus particles of Influenza A Strain A/WS/33 (H1N1) were aspirated directly into the lungs of mice. The same quantity of virus infection was repeated at 22 hrs. This influenza model was designed to be uniformly fatal in 100% of the infected, untreated animals within 5 days after infection. Treatment with the FluCide candidates and Oseltamivir commenced 24 hours after the first viral infection. The duration of study was 21 days.
The Company had previously reported that the same three optimized FluCide™ nanoviricide drug candidates achieved significantly increased survival (20.2 to 22.2 days) as compared to animals treated with Oseltamivir (only 8.3 day survival). The lung histology (microscopic tissue examination) data show that the observed increase in survival was accompanied by a dramatic reduction in virus-induced lung inflammation and necrosis.
“Protection of the FluCide-treated animals against the development of influenza-specific lung inflammation and necrosis, together with the markedly extended survival clearly demonstrate the therapeutic potential of these FluCide nanoviricide drug candidates,” said Dr. Krishna Menon, KARD Scientific, adding, “Importantly, there were no drug-related side effects observed in the FluCide-treated animals.”
Pulmonary viral load studies, another important tool for evaluation of drug effectiveness, are currently in process. The results will be reported when they become available.
“These studies have clearly demonstrated that FluCide drug candidates are significantly superior to current therapies for influenza in animal models,” said Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of the Company, adding, “Lung damage is a very important part of the pathology of influenza virus infection. Uncontrolled lung damage is associated with viral pneumonitis that, in severe cases of influenza, can lead to respiratory failure and refractory shock, the two most common causes of death. The world has seen such severe cases in the recent H1N1 pandemic, and continues to witness them with sporadic cases of H5N1 bird flu infections. We are very pleased with the finding that FluCide can protect animals against influenza viral lung damage.”
The Company is presenting its work at the 2nd Annual “Encouraging Development of Therapeutics for Neglected Diseases” Conference being held in Philadelphia, PA, today, April 4th. The Company has sponsored a luncheon presentation at this Conference. Anil R. Diwan, PhD, President of the Company, will be presenting the Company” work on neglected diseases including Dengue, Rabies, Ebola, and Bird Flu (H5N1). The Company plans to include the late-breaking information discussed in this press release in the presentation.