WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- May 21, 2013 -- NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC) (the "Company") announced today that it has appointed Milton Boniuk, MD, the Caroline F. Elles Chair Professor of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, as an independent member of the Company’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Boniuk is an astute and highly successful businessman and entrepreneur, in addition to being an accomplished eye surgeon, educator, and administrator. Currently, he is the Caroline F. Elles Chair Professor of Ophthalmology in the Alkek Eye Center at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. He conducts a busy clinical practice in orbital surgery, eyelid reconstruction, ocular oncology and comprehensive ophthalmology. Additionally, he plays a major role in Baylor’s resident and fellow medical doctor education programs.
Dr. Boniuk has been a long term investor and strong supporter of NanoViricides, Inc.
“Milton’s strong business acumen, integrity, and professional expertise will be of great help in strengthening our corporate governance as well as fostering our drug development activities,” said Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of the Company.
Dr. Boniuk has made significant contributions in cataract surgery, glaucoma, corneal dystrophies, retinal diseases and surgery. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the pathology and surgical management of orbital and intra-ocular tumors. His description of the ocular pathology of the congenital rubella syndrome in 1967 was a landmark publication. Of note, Dr. Boniuk has made substantial medical contributions in areas that are of great significance to the Company, such as ocular adenoviral infections, that cause epidemic kerato-conjunctivitis (EKC). The Company has developed a drug candidate for EKC infection that was successfully tested in rabbits. These animals serve as a surrogate for the viral disease in human eyes.
“Dr. Boniuk brings a unique set of skills to the Board of NanoViricides, Inc.,” said Anil R. Diwan, PhD, President of the Company, adding, “He shares our enthusiasm for the novel biomimetic nanoviricides® technologies and the resulting anti-viral drugs. In addition to strengthening our corporate governance, he will be of great value in progressing our drug development programs into the clinic.”
Dr. Boniuk is also well known for his philanthropic endeavors. He and his wife Laurie founded the National Society for Parent and Child Development in 1989. In 1994, he established the Lions Eye Bank Foundation’s Milton Boniuk, M.D., Endowment Fund to support resident research in the Ophthalmology Department at Baylor. In 2004, Milton and Laurie Boniuk contributed $5 million to Rice University to establish the Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance. In 2013, they gave an additional $28.5M to Rice University to upgrade this Center to The Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance. The Boniuk Institute will conduct research, public outreach and educational programming. Its mission is to foster multidisciplinary research that leads to innovative ways to understand and achieve religious tolerance.
Dr. Boniuk earned his MD at the Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, followed by an internship at the Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Residency at the Center for Ophthalmology, Jefferson Medical College - Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. In addition, he served a Fellowship in Ophthalmic Pathology at the world-renowned Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC.
NanoViricides, Inc. currently has six drug candidates in its pipeline and several research programs. The Company is advancing both an injectable drug and an oral drug against Influenzas in IND-enabling studies in its FluCide™ program. The oral FluCide drug is being developed for out-patient influenza cases. The injectable FluCide is being developed for the seriously ill, hospitalized patients with influenza-like illness. Both of these drugs are broad-spectrum, i.e. they are expected to work against most if not all influenza A viruses. The Company believes so because the virus-binding ligand in these drugs mimics sialic acid, and it is well known that all influenza viruses bind to sialic acid receptors on a cell in order to gain entry into the cell. Both of these anti-influenza drugs may also be useful for prophylaxis, such as for the protection of health care workers. In addition, the Company has developed several other highly effective drug candidates. These include HIVCide™, HerpiCide™, DengiCide™, and a broad-spectrum nanoviricide eye drop formulation against viral infections of the eye. The Company’s drug programs are based on the Company’s patented “nanoviricide®” platform technology that enables specifically targeting a particular type of virus with a novel mechanism of action. In addition, the Company’s other research and development programs include (a) broad-spectrum nanoviricides against a number of Neglected Tropical Diseases, and (b) its novel ADIF™ ( “Accurate Drug In Field”™ ) technologies which promise a way to attack novel viruses, whether man-made (bioterrorism) or natural (such as SARS), before they cause a pandemic.