WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- October 9th, 2012 -- NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC) (the "Company") reports that post-infection treatment with its oral FluCide™ drug candidate achieved dramatic reduction in the levels of infectious virus in the lungs of animals with a lethal H3N2 influenza virus infection. These findings corroborate the recently reported findings of increased animal survival in oral FluCide-treated animals infected with H3N2 influenza A. These findings also indicate that oral FluCide is at least ten-times superior to oral oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), when comparing lung viral load and protection of lungs from damage caused by the influenza pathology.
Four days after virus infection, the infectious viral load in lungs of infected animals treated with the best oral FluCide™ nanoviricide drug candidate was reduced greater than 30-fold as compared to the infected, untreated control animals, at day 4. In contrast, animals treated with Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) showed only an approximate 3-fold reduction in lung viral load at day 4. At 7 days, the viral load in the lungs of Oseltamivir-treated animals was increased to the same level as that found in the infected, untreated control animals shortly before their death, while the lung viral load at 7 days in the FluCide-treated animals remained at the same 30-fold reduction. Thus, this oral FluCide appeared to be at least 10x more effective than oral Oseltamivir.
Of clinical significance, the reduction in lung viral load achieved by oral FluCide treatment with this drug candidate was accompanied by a correspondingly dramatic protection of the lungs from damage. Lung damage pathology is caused by both (i) influenza virus infection and expansion, and (ii) the body’s immune response to fight the infection. Microscopic evaluation of the lung tissues from FluCide-treated animals at day 4 showed an approximate 100-fold reduction in virus-induced inflammation and necrosis as compared to infected, untreated control animals. In contrast, at day 4, the lungs of Oseltamivir-treated animals showed only a 2-fold reduction.
The Company has previously reported that the same oral FluCide™ nanoviricide drug candidate achieved significantly increased survival of 15-16 days while animals treated with oral Oseltamivir survived only 9-10 days.
The current study provides further support for the potential of a therapeutic nanoviricide to protect against multiple influenza virus sub-types. Such broad-spectrum anti-influenza activity is highly sought after for a drug to be effective in seasonal influenza epidemics. Influenza viruses often change from season to season. In addition, severe epidemics or pandemics may be caused by a novel strain of influenza that emerges from time to time.
The studies were conducted by Dr. Krishna Menon, PhD, VMD, MRCS, at KARD Scientific, MA. One hundred thousand virus particles of Influenza A Strain A/W/67 (H3N2v) 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 both FluCide candidates and Tamiflu® (Roche) commenced 24 hours after the first viral infection.