WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- May 2, 2011 -- NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC) (the "Company") reports that post-infection treatment with its optimized FluCideTM drug candidates achieved 1,000-fold reduction in the levels of infectious virus in the lungs of animals with a lethal level of influenza virus infection. These findings corroborate the previously reported findings of both increased animal survival and protection of the lungs from influenza virus tissue damage in FluCide-treated animals in the most recent H1N1 influenza study.
The amount of infectious virus in the lungs of the infected animals treated with three of the optimized FluCideTM nanoviricide drug candidates was reduced by greater than 1000-fold as compared to the infected untreated control animals (p-values < 0.001), four days after virus infection. In contrast, animals treated with Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®, Roche) showed less than a 2-fold reduction in lung viral load at the same time point. This indicated a 500-fold greater reduction in viral load by FluCide drug candidates over Oseltamivir.
Of great clinical significance is the fact that 2 of the optimized FluCideTM drug candidates maintained this greatly reduced lung viral load at 7, 13 and 19 days after virus infection in this 21 day study. Thus, treatment with FluCide drug candidates appeared to protect against the complete cycle of infection, virus expansion and spread of infection in the lungs that follows the initial virus infection. This was not the case for the oseltamivir-treated animals. Animals treated with Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®, Roche) showed less than a 2-fold reduction in lung viral load at 4 days and the viral load was increased at 7 days to the same level as that found in the infected, untreated control animals shortly before their death.
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 the study was 21 days.
The Company has previously reported that the same optimized FluCideTM nanoviricide drug candidates achieved significantly increased survival (20.2 to 22.2 days) and greater than 95% reduction in lung inflammation and necrosis in this study. In contrast, animals treated with Oseltamivir showed a mean survival of just 8.3 days and only a 50% reduction in lung inflammation and necrosis.
“The dramatic reduction in the infectious viral load clearly establishes that we have extremely effective, direct-acting, antiviral drug candidates,” said Dr. Randall Barton, Chief Scientific Officer of the Company.
“Such a strong viral load reduction would enable even bird-flu infected patients to recover readily, assuming these results hold in humans,” said Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of the Company.