WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- September 10, 2012 -- NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC) (the "Company") announced today that oral administration of its FluCide™ anti-influenza drug candidates provided clinically important disease protection in a lethal animal model of influenza infection. Moreover, the FluCide™ candidates were superior to oral oseltamivir (Tamiflu®, Roche), a current standard of care for influenza, in all parameters evaluated.
As compared to oseltamivir, the results clearly demonstrated that oral administration of two different FluCide drug candidates produced significantly greater reduction in the levels of influenza virus in the lungs of the infected mice. This reduction was accompanied by significant protection from the lung tissue inflammation and destruction that is believed to be important in the lethal pathogenesis in this highly lethal model of H1N1 Influenza virus infection. As a result of the reduction in lung viral load and protection against virus destruction of lung tissue, the oral FluCide drug candidates produced significant improvement in survival as compared to oseltamivir. The study was performed by KARD Scientific Inc. in the highly lethal influenza animal model as previously described.
The potential of an oral anti-influenza nanoviricide® drug has important implications for disease treatment. According to the CDC, influenza is a highly communicable acute respiratory disease that is considered to be one of the major infectious disease threats to the human population. During seasonal epidemics, 5-15% of the world population is typically infected (or about 300 million to 1 billion people infected), resulting in 3-5 million cases of severe illness affecting all age groups. Historically, in the USA alone, 5% to 20% of the population (approximately 40M people) come down with the flu annually, of which more than 200,000 persons are hospitalized from influenza-related complications, and approximately 36,000 people die from influenza-related causes even in a non-pandemic year. During the 1918 pandemic year, 675,000 Americans died from the flu. Most victims were healthy young adults and it was thought that majority of the deaths were from a phenomenon called “cytokine storm”, essentially an over-reaction of the immune system to the novel viral infection.
The company believes that an oral nanoviricide drug used either alone or in combination with other antiviral agents in humans with seasonal influenza could possibly reduce the number of cases of severe illness and of associated death. The Company believes that the effectiveness of such a regimen would be substantially superior to that with the current standard of care medicines for flu.
Of clinical importance, the WHO reports that the greatest risk to public health is the emergence of influenza A viruses in the general population for which immunity is lacking. Such novel viruses can spread rapidly and can result in a pandemic causing high levels of morbidity and mortality globally. This was witnessed recently with the rapidly spreading Influenza A/H1N1/2009 or so called “swine flu” pandemic outbreak.
The company believes that an oral nanoviricide drug would be of great use for the treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza.