SHELTON, CONNECTICUT -- Monday, June, 26, 2017 -- NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NNVC) (the "Company"), a pioneer in developing anti-viral nanomedicine drugs, is pleased to announce that its poster entitled "Novel Nanoviricides® Highly Effective Against Varicella Zoster Virus in Cell Culture" will be presented today at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Virology (ASV). The poster will be presented in Poster Session II, open for viewing from 4pm to 6pm today, Monday, June 26th, 2017. The ASV Meeting is being hosted and held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from June 24th to 28th, 2017 (https://extensionconferencecenters.uwex.edu/asv2017/).
Dr. Brian Friedrich, Senior Virologist of the Company, is presenting the Company's work on the evaluation of nanoviricides drug candidates for effectiveness against the shingles virus (Varicella Zoster Virus, VZV, aka Human HerpesVirus-3 or HHV-3) in this poster.
The two active nanoviricide® candidates presented here inhibited VZV up to 5x better than acyclovir-sodium (the current standard of care), and completely inhibited VZV protein production/infection in cell culture studies. These results indicate a very high level of anti-VZV effectiveness.
The nanoviricide candidates were non-cytotoxic even at the highest doses in all cell lines tested. Thus it should be possible to administer very high concentrations of the drug locally on the skin without any deleterious effects.
Importantly, the data being presented demonstrate that the anti-viral activity of a nanoviricide is driven by the virus-specific ligand attached to it. Thus two of the nanoviricide drug candidates were highly effective against VZV, whereas a third one was not as effective. All three ligands were derived by in silicon computer-aided drug design based on known structures of HSV glycoprotein binding to the cellular receptor, namely the herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM), and thus were expected to be active against herpes simplex viruses, and some of them were anticipated to be active against all alphaherpesviruses. VZV is an alphaherpesvirus.
Varicella Zoster virus (VZV) primary infection causes chickenpox, followed by latency in ganglia and neurons, and can reactivate decades later causing herpes zoster (shingles), usually upon immunosuppression resulting from age, stress, or other factors. Classical shingles presents as a painful unilateral dermatomal vesicular rash as virus spreads to the skin through peripheral nerves. In severe cases, VZV can reactivate in or around the eye which can cause facial disfiguration or blindness. There are about 1 million cases annually and the lifetime risk of developing shingles is at least 30%. While there is a shingles vaccine, it is not effective post-breakout, is only ~50% effective in preventing disease, and cannot be given to immunosuppressed people.
Topical treatment of shingles remains an unmet medical need, and would enable high concentration of active drug locally for rapid treatment with minimal systemic effects. NanoViricides, Inc. is developing broad-spectrum drugs against herpesviruses for both topical and systemic use. Our novel nanoviricide® class of drug candidates are designed to specifically attack enveloped virus particles by specially designed small chemical ligands and dismantle them with the polymeric micelle which is covalently attached. Our approach of designing ligands to mimic virus binding sites on cellular receptors promises that a virus cannot escape the nanoviricide drug due to mutation(s).
NanoViricides, Inc. is advancing these candidates further into ex vivo dermal studies towards IND filing. The Company has already initiated anti-VZV effectiveness studies for these drug candidates in an ex vivo human skin-patch model developed by Dr. Jennifer Moffat at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY. The Company intends to release the data from these studies as they become available.
The poster is available for viewing on the Company's website (www.nanoviricides.com).About NanoViricides
FDA refers to US Food and Drug Administration. EMA refers to the European Union’s office of European Medical Agency.