WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- August 7th 2013 -- NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC) (the "Company") announced today that DengueCide™, its drug candidate for the treatment of dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever, has been officially designated as an orphan drug by the US FDA.
This orphan drug designation qualifies NanoViricides for certain tax credits and marketing incentives under the Orphan Drug Act. In addition, the Company will qualify for the waiver of certain FDA fees when it files the New Drug Application (NDA) for DengueCide with the FDA. Further, the Company will also be eligible for a “Priority Review Voucher” (PRV) from the US FDA when the Company files a NDA for DengueCide.
“Now we intend to accelerate our dengue drug development programs to take advantage of these benefits,” said Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of the Company. DengueCide is in pre-clinical development at present. If the pre-clinical development is successful, the Company will need to file an “Investigational New Drug” (IND) application to the US FDA and perform human clinical trials. If the human clinical trials are successful, then the Company has to file a NDA to the FDA to obtain approval to market the drug. There is no guarantee that DengueCide will successfully result in an NDA or a marketable drug product.
If the Company receives a Priority Review Voucher, it can be applied to accelerate the review of another one of our own drugs or it can be sold to another pharmaceutical company for a consideration. Priority review means that the FDA aims to render a decision on the NDA in 6 months. In contrast, the FDA aims to complete a standard review in about 10 months, and it often takes even longer. The estimated economic value of a PRV depends upon the drug class, and could be as high as a few hundred million dollars, according to Duke economists (Ridley et al. 2006; Grabowski et al. 2009). (https://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~dbr1/voucher/).
The Company has recently executed a NDA with the UK Public Health Agency that is intended to lead to a Master Service Agreement for the evaluation of FluCide against the novel A/H7N9 influenza strain as well as evaluation of the Company’s novel drug candidates against the newly emerging MERS human Coronavirus. The Company believes that independent testing of our drug candidates at these two sites should result in a dataset providing a high degree of confidence.
About Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) is a private, biomedical research organization dedicated to improving public health through research on the prevention, treatment and cure of respiratory disease. LRRI is committed to curing respiratory diseases through research aimed at understanding their causes and biological mechanisms; assessing and eliminating exposures to respiratory health hazards; and developing improved therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. LRRI is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and employs 1,200 people including 150 Ph.D.’s.
NanoViricides is developing broad-spectrum anti-influenza drugs as part of its rich drug pipeline. The Company believes that its FluCide™ drug candidates will be effective against most if not all influenza viruses, including the H7N9 bird flu, H3N2 or H1N1 epidemic viruses, H5N1 bird flu, seasonal influenzas, as well as novel influenza viruses. This is because FluCide is based on the Company’s biomimetic technology, mimicking the natural sialic acid receptors for the influenza virus on the surface of a nanoviricide® polymeric micelle. It is important to note that all influenza viruses bind to the sialic acid receptors, even if they rapidly mutate. The FluCide drug candidates have already shown strong effectiveness against H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses in highly lethal animal models. The injectable FluCide drug candidates have shown 1,000X greater viral load reduction as compared to oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), the current standard of care, in a highly lethal influenza infection animal model. The Company believes that these animal model results should translate readily into humans.
NanoViricides has also developed an oral drug candidate against influenza. This oral version is also dramatically more effective than TamiFlu in the animals given a lethal influenza virus infection. This oral FluCide may be the very first nanomedicine that is effective when taken by mouth.
In addition, NanoViricides has developed drug candidates against Dengue, HIV/AIDS, Herpes, and Ocular Viral Diseases that have shown strong effectiveness in relevant animal and/or cell culture models.