NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC.OB) (the "Company"), announced today that the herpes simplex viral load was reduced by 99.99% or 10,000 fold in in-vitro studies by nanoviricides™ drug candidates. The studies were performed by Thevac in Baton Rouge, LA, in collaboration with the Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Gus Kousoulas.
Four different nanoviricides showed greater than 10,000-fold (>99.99%) reduction in virus quantity compared to untreated controls in a cell culture assay employing the LSU proprietary green-fluorescent-protein-tagged (GFP) modified HSV-1 McKrae strain.
These nanoviricide drug candidates are designed to act against all herpes simplex virus strains, including HSV-1 and HSV-2. The Company has commissioned additional in vitro studies to confirm the results. Animal studies have also been scheduled.
“We are very excited with this success against HSV-1,” said Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of the Company, adding “and expect this to lead to a topical skin cream against herpes cold sores and genital herpes. This opens up another significant commercial opportunity for the Company.”
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes “cold sores”, the incidence of which is second only to the common cold (100 million recurrences annually in the US alone). In addition, genital herpes prevalence is 67 million infected individuals in the US alone. HSV also causes keratitis, a disease of the eye (250,000 US cases/year).
Existing therapies include acyclovir and drugs chemically related to it. These drugs, nucleoside analogs, act by inhibiting viral DNA synthesis. However, there is known drug toxicity due to interference with human metabolism. Currently, there is no cure for herpes infection.
Nanoviricides act by a novel and distinctly different mechanism compared to existing drugs. Nanoviricides are designed to mimic the human cell surface to which the virus binds. Our results suggest that a nanoviricide could become a highly sought after drug against HSV.
The market size for herpes simplex virus treatments is in excess of $2 billion annually.