NanoViricides, Inc. (the “Company”), a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral drugs, reported that its CEO, Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, has been invited to discuss the current Ebola outbreak and the Company’s progress on a novel experimental Ebola drug on “The Independents”, a show on the Fox Business News Channel (FBN) tonight at 9PM EDT.
He will discuss some of the difficulties that could be encountered in attempts to bring the Ebola epidemic under control. Dr. Seymour has extensive field experience in the area of infectious diseases. He has previously worked on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. D. Seymour was interviewed on FBN regarding the Ebola crisis earlier on September 16th.
The Company has now developed novel nanoviricide drug candidates against Ebola that it believes could lead to a successful therapeutic. These drug candidates are designed to mimic the host cell receptor onto which the Ebola virus binds to cause an infection. The site at which the virus binds does not change, in spite of all the mutations a virus undergoes. Thus the Company believes that its drug candidates would continue to work in spite of field mutations in the virus. This is unlike vaccines, antibodies, siRNA, antisense, and several other therapeutic modes which a virus can readily overcome due to mutations it acquires in the field.
The Company had previously developed anti-Ebola drug candidates that demonstrated the validity and potential of the Company’s approach, based on cell culture and animal testing conducted at US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in a BSL-4 facility. The Company had to de-prioritize this development in order to focus on the development of its lead drug candidate, Injectable FluCide™, for treatment of hospitalized patients with influenza. The Company has recently reported that it has restarted its anti-Ebola/Marburg drug program, in consideration of the severe public health impact of an Ebola virus epidemic. The current outbreak in Africa has unequivocally demonstrated the need for an effective, broad-spectrum, anti-Ebola therapeutic.
The Company is in negotiations with several parties regarding testing the new nanoviricide drug candidates against Ebola in the required high safety environments, i.e. BSL-4 facilities.
NanoViricides, Inc. now has the capability of producing sufficient quantities of an anti-Ebola drug, after it is developed, for combating current and future Ebola epidemics. The highly customizable nanomedicine cGMP capable pilot scale manufacturing facility in Shelton, CT, will be able to supply all of the nanoviricides drug candidates in quantities needed for human clinical trials.
As of October 1, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a total of approximately 7,493 suspected cases and 3,439 deaths, with the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) standing at 70%, derived using data from patients with definitive clinical outcomes, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_epidemic_in_West_Africa). Unfortunately, this Ebola outbreak has continued to expand at an exponential rate in spite of significant efforts to contain it. It has also continued to spread geographically. A first case of Ebola infection detected in the USA occurred in Dallas, TX, recently, with the patient who flew in from Liberia while having no symptoms. The first confirmed case of Ebola infection contracted outside of Africa has occurred in Spain in a nurse, who was taking care of two volunteer priests that became infected with Ebola virus and were brought back from Africa, at the Hospital Carlos III in Madrid.
Currently, there are no approved drugs or vaccines against Ebola, , although some vaccines as well as some drug candidates have entered clinical trials. Recently, WHO has announced a policy for use of experimental drugs against Ebola to expedite drug availability.