Anil Diwan, Ph.D., president of NanoViricides, Inc., a development stage company creating special purpose nanomaterials for viral therapy, revealed the remarkable potential of this new class of drugs for the treatment of viral disease in a presentation given at the 8th annual NanoBusiness Conference in Chicago recently.
NanoViricides has created a class of drug candidates, under the Nanoviricide™ name, that comes as close as anything to the sought after “magic bullet”, able to zero in on specific virus particles and dismantle them. The company is already developing drugs against a number of viral diseases, including H1N1 swine flu, H5N1 bird flu, seasonal Influenza, HIV, oral and genital herpes, and viral diseases of the eye. They are also working on drugs against Hepatitis C, Rabies, and the deadly Ebola virus, among others.
Dr. Diwan described the remarkable way the new drugs are able to focus in and destroy virus particles. “Viruses can be fooled. We use their own smarts to attack them. The site at which a virus binds to the cell surface never changes, no matter how much the virus itself changes. We mimic this site, and the cell surface, so the virus particle can bind to the nanoviricide thinking it is binding to a cell. We anticipate very little escape mutation problem, if we do this successfully.”
He went on to explain what a huge difference this approach makes in effectiveness. FluCide™ was found to be as much as 10-20 times as effective as Roche’s Tamiflu in lethal influenza virus challenge administered to mice. “Imagine the day when we will never have to develop vaccines against influenza. That’s what FluCide™ would achieve.”
He also revealed that HIVCide™ was found to be more than 25 times superior to the entire three-drug HAART cocktail in a standard SCID-Hu mouse model study. Moreover, the nanoviricides produced none of the toxic side effects found with the HAART cocktail. In another significant study, the company’s drug EKCCide™ was shown to provide complete clinical resolution of the disease adenoviral kerato-conjunctivitis in as little as 2½ days. The company said it was not aware of any other drug candidate that has shown clinical improvement in the disease.
Company CEO, Dr. Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, added, “The Company has continued its development of FluCide, HIVCide, and the ocular nanoviricide eye drops, which are programs of very high commercial interest.”