(OTC BB: NNVC.OB) (the "Company"), a development stage company
that is creating special purpose nanomaterials for viral therap, reported today
that testing of its topical eye drops drug candidate has begun at two different,
Testing of this broad-spectrum, topical, eye drug candidate by a major pharmaceutical
company (“Party”) is now in progress. The Company had previously
announced in March that it had signed a Material Transfer Agreement with this
Party. In addition, the Company is also evaluating this drug candidate against
herpes keratitis of the eye at Thevac, LLC, a spin-off of the Louisiana State
University (Study Director, K. G. Kousoulas, PhD).
The testing at the two facilities will independently evaluate performance of
this drug candidate against several types and strains of many different viruses
that cause keratitis or conjunctivitis of the eye. Cell culture studies as well
as animal studies with different animal models have been planned.
“Execution of the material transfer agreement (MTA) is a step towards
a potential licensing agreement,” said Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of
Nanoviricides, Inc. The terms of the agreement do not allow the disclosure of
the identity of the Party or the exact terms of the MTA.
HSV and some adenoviruses cause most of the cases of keratitis, a serious infection
of the cornea. Importantly, HSV infection can lead to corneal scarring that
may necessitate corneal transplantation. In addition, some adenoviruses cause
a majority of conjunctivitis cases (“pink eye”). The remaining cases
of conjunctivitis, caused by bacteria, are treatable with topical antibiotics.
Currently, there are no effective treatments for viral diseases of the exterior
portion of the eye.
The Company has already demonstrated strong efficacy against an adenovirus-caused
external eye disease called epidemic kerato-conjunctivitis (EKC). Rapid clinical
improvement in the treated animals was reported by independent researchers who
tested the effects of the nanoviricides drug candidate against adenoviral EKC.
Based on computer modeling, the Company believes that the broad-spectrum nature
of the ligand used in this nanoviricide should enable it to be effective against
The total market for all forms of viral conjunctivitis/keratitis is estimated
to be in the billions of dollars. The incidence of severe herpes (HSV) keratitis
is estimated to be 250,000 cases per year in the USA. In Japan, where EKC is
a reportable disease, it is estimated that there are at least one million cases
per year. The number of cases of non-specific conjunctivitis (pink eye) is considered
to be far greater, possibly into tens of millions in the US, and into hundreds
of millions worldwide.