NanoViricides, Inc., a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral drugs, reported that it has shipped several anti-Ebola nanoviricide® drug candidates to a hi-security bio-containment facility in the US that is capable of performing evaluation of these drug candidates in the required biological safety level 4 (BSL-4) environment.
The Company has designed these novel anti-Ebola broad-spectrum drug candidates such that they are expected to continue to work in spite of mutations in the field.
Using NanoViricides's rapid design platform, it took only 4 months from design to synthesis of the multiple drug candidates. These candidates are designed to attack the Ebola virus at the site on the virus that does not change in spite of mutations because the virus uses this site to bind to its cognate receptor in human cells, namely NPC1. Some of the candidates are designed to attack another conserved site on the Ebola virus that is thought to be involved in the fusion process of the virus required for it to successfully enter the cell.
The Company already has the capability of producing sufficient quantities of a successful anti-Ebola drug in its new cGMP-capable facility in Shelton, CT, for combating the current Ebola epidemic. This pilot scale manufacturing facility will be able to supply the successful nanoviricides drug candidate in quantities needed for the treatment of patients in West Africa infected with the Ebola virus. NanoViricides, Inc. is one of the very few companies that has the ability produce its drug candidates at this full-response scale.
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 USAMRIID in 2008-2009. At that time, the cognate receptor of the Ebola virus was still unknown and the Company used certain heuristic approaches to design potential drug candidates for the purpose of validating our approach. 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 current outbreak in Africa has unequivocally demonstrated the need for an effective, broad-spectrum, anti-Ebola therapeutic. NanoViricides engaged into the anti-Ebola drug development with the highest priority in order to respond to this challenge recently.