NanoViricides, Inc. has discussed the results of recent animal studies against rabies that were presented along with the successful BSL3 in vitro studies against a Clade 2 H5N1 virus at the 23rd Annual Symposium of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology in Tampa, FL, on Wednesday, May 2.
The animal studies against rabies were conducted in Vietnam using the Challenge Standard Virus strain at a highly lethal infection level of 1,000 LD50 given directly into the brain.
NanoViricides drugs based on the broad-spectrum chemicals ligand class, rabies-specific receptor peptide ligand class, as well as rabies-antibody-derived ligand class were tested in both direct intracerebral treatment as well as intraperitoneal treatment modalities. Human anti-Rabies Immunoglobulin (RIG), a commercial standard rabies treatment, was used as positive control.
A 30% survival rate with two of the nanoviricides and 20% survival rate with another two nanoviricides was found in mice treated intracerebrally.
Additionally, a 20% survival rate was found with two of these four nanoviricides even on intraperitoneal treatment. All mice treated with RIG died. All of the nanoviricide drug candidates showed efficacy superior to the RIG standard, as measured by various end-points including survival and body-weight.
RIG together with rabies vaccine are given as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in developed countries. However, once clinical signs are evident (prodrome phase), rabies is 100% fatal in humans. Rabies is a very important disease in developing nations. More than 50 cases of rabies infection occur in the US annually.
RIG is too expensive to be used in most patients in developing nations. The Company believes that the chemical ligand-based nanoviricides can be made inexpensively and are expected to be stable at ambient temperatures, requiring simple storage and transportation, thus allowing global use. The Company believes that it now has a candidate that can replace RIG or monoclonal antibodies for PEP usage.
“We have demonstrated that it is possible to construct highly effective antibody-based drugs within weeks, now against a second disease. We have also demonstrated that broad-spectrum, highly effective anti-viral agents that attack unrelated viruses with distinct pathologies, can be created when they share common mechanisms of binding to human cells. These achievements essentially are enabling elements for the President’s Flexible Defense BioSecurity Enterprise,” said Anil R. Diwan, Ph.D., President of NanoViricides, Inc.
“Our success in achieving survival of mice in a lethal infection study for the very first time raises the specter of conquering this uniformly fatal disease. This achievement has strong implications in our fight against all viral diseases,” said Dr. Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, CEO of NanoViricides, Inc.