NanoViricides, Inc., (the "Company"), a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral drugs, reports dramatic improvement in clinical symptoms associated with herpes simplex virus infection in the recently completed studies in mice. The studies were performed in the laboratory of Dr. Ken S. Rosenthal at Northeast Ohio Medical University where Dr. Rosenthal is now Professor Emeritus. He is a leading researcher in herpes virus anti-viral agents and vaccines.
Two of the anti-Herpes nanoviricides® reduced the extent of disease (morbidity) and mortality of the HSV-1 infected animals that were treated. These nanoviricides also reduced virus production in cell culture. Importantly, topical dermal treatment with these nanoviricides led to almost complete (>85%) survival of the infected mice in this animal model whereas all untreated animals died of the disease. Further, these nanoviricides were superior to topical treatment with an acyclovir formulation employed as a positive control.
"Our broad-spectrum anti-herpes drug development program is now producing dramatic results in animal models," said Dr. Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of the Company, adding, "Our drug candidates had previously exhibited greater than 99.9% viral load reduction in cell cultures. With the marked success in animal effectiveness, we believe that we will be able to declare a drug candidate against herpes viruses after certain additional testing."
The market size for herpes simplex virus treatments is in excess of $2 billion annually. The Company believes that a drug that is superior to existing therapies could result in significantly expanded market size.
The nanoviricides appeared to block the progression of the virus infection as observed by a reduction in the progression of the spreading of lesions.
Dr. Rosenthal suggested that "A delay in initiation of disease signs and the survival of the mice indicate a reduction of 90% or more in the production of virus possibly during the initial period of replication."
The nanoviricides prevented the development of scabbing of the herpes virus infected lesions in the animal model. For untreated and sham treated animals, the HSV infection progressed from initial redness at the site of infection to lesions that progressed on the skin along the nerve and internally to ultimately kill the mouse. Topical dermal treatment with these two nanoviricide formulations significantly delayed the onset of the clinical symptoms, prevented the progression of the lesions and produced survival of almost all of the mice (>85%).
Existing therapies against HSV include acyclovir and drugs chemically related to it. These drugs must be taken orally or by injection and are not very effective as topical agents. Other drugs are largely ineffective. Currently, there is no cure for herpes infection.
About Dr. Rosenthal
Dr. Rosenthal is Professor Emeritus at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). He is a leading researcher in the field of herpes viruses, antiviral drugs and vaccines. His research interests encompass several aspects of how herpes simplex virus (HSV) interacts with the host to cause disease. His research has addressed how HSV infects skin cells and examined viral properties that facilitate its virulence and ability to cause encephalitis. He is also researching how the human host immune response works against HSV for the development of protective and therapeutic vaccines.