NanoViricides, Inc. (the "Company") reported today that Milton Boniuk, MD, the Caroline F. Elles Chair Professor of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, and a Director of the Company has invested a total of $7 Million in the Company during the 2013 calendar year. Dr. Boniuk was the single largest investor with $3 Million in the recently concluded registered direct offering.
Previously, he had invested $4 Million in the Company’s convertible debenture financing concluded in February, 2013. Professor Boniuk has also invested in the Company in earlier rounds of financing. He made these investments both personally as well as from his charitable foundation and other interests. Professor Boniuk joined the Company’s Board as an independent director in May, 2013, at the request of the Company’s executives. He says that his confidence in the Company has only continued to grow as he sees the Company’s management and execution now from a closer perspective.
When asked why he has made these investments, he explained that “As I became familiar with the technology and the various on-going programs that the Company has, it became apparent that the potential was nothing short of amazing. Dr. Diwan explained to me how it would be possible to create a novel drug against a previously unknown virus in a matter of weeks. The NanoViricides team has demonstrated this capability by creating potential drug candidates for the MERS human Coronavirus in just a few weeks. I was impressed by the business acumen of the senior management as demonstrated by their ability to bring in six commercially important drug candidates in the Company’s pipeline, in a relatively short time frame. I was also impressed by their receiving orphan drug designation for the dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever drug candidate, the interest shown by the British Government Agency in a collaboration on MERS and H7N9, as well as the progress they’ve made in the construction of the new R&D and cGMP pilot production facility. Although I have known Dr. Seymour professionally for many years, I was introduced to the Company by my sister, Vivien Boniuk, MD, also an ophthalmologist, who had performed the animal studies on the Company’s drug candidates for adenovirus and herpes virus infections of the eye.”
The Company further reports that Dr. Vivien Boniuk was the very first investor in the Company, and has continued to be a major investor all along.
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.