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 $5M in the Company in the form of a convertible debenture (the “Debenture”).
Dr. Boniuk said 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, in his role as a Director.
Professor Boniuk has also invested in the Company in earlier rounds of financing. The new financing brings the total financing provided by him to $12 Million to date. These investments were made 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.
“My belief that the Company’s potential is nothing short of amazing has only become stronger as I become more familiar with the Company’s technology, programs, and achievements,” said Dr. Boniuk when asked about his continuing investments into the Company.
The Debenture is convertible into the Company’s Common Stock at $5.25 per share upon maturity or earlier at the investor’s option. Until conversion, the debenture carries an interest at the rate of 10% per annum, payable in cash, with the first year’s interest deferred and divided evenly into the remaining three years. In addition, the Company issued 187,000 shares of its extremely restricted Series A Preferred stock to Dr. Boniuk, as initial interest, at the closing yesterday, on July 1. The Series A stock is not convertible into common stock, is not tradable, and does not carry any dividend rights, or any other financial effects, except in certain limited circumstances.
In other news, the Company reports that NNVC was added as a member of the U.S. small-cap Russell 2000 Index after the equity markets closed on June 27, when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive family of global indexes. Membership in the Russell 2000, which remains in place for one year, is based on membership in the broad-market Russell 3000 Index. The stock was also added systematically to the appropriate growth and value indexes.
The Company believes that this addition of NNVC shares to the Russell Indexes is very significant in that it will provide the Company with much greater visibility in the institutional investments sector.
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 is also developing an oral drug candidate against influenza, that may be the first orally available nanomedicine. This oral version of FluCide was also found to be dramatically more effective than oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) in a highly lethal influenza virus infection animal model.
In addition, NanoViricides is developing drugs against Dengue, HIV/AIDS, Herpes, and Ocular Viral Diseases that have shown strong effectiveness in relevant animal and/or cell culture models.