NanoViricides (OTCBB:NNVC) reported Monday that its lead anti-HIV candidate achieved an efficacy level equivalent to a highly active anti-retroviral triple (HAART) drug cocktail in a recent animal study.
Treatment with the drug reduced HIV levels and protected human immune T-cells to the same extent as treatment with the cocktail did in a study of mice, said the company. The three drug-combination used for comparison is one of the current therapies recommended for patients with HIV.
NanoViricides, which uses special purpose nanomaterials to design viral therapies, also said that no evidence of drug toxicity was observed during the study, and that the investigational drug will now undergo further optimization.
The latest study verifies the company's previous results, which found that nanoviricides had a significant therapeutic effect, equal or superior to the same three-drug cocktail in a mouse study.
The company's nanoviricide therapy works to mimick cellular structures to which the virus binds, specifically attacking and dismantling them. By working differently than many combination therapies, the drug developer believes that the nanoviral treatment, or HIVCide, could compliment current standard-of-care, possibly achieving a "functional cure" of HIV/AIDS, NanoViricides said.
Although a functional cure is not a complete cure, it would allow an infected person to continue normal life even after discontinuation of therapy, maintaining undetectable viral load until a recurrence.
"Creating an adjunct drug that acts by a novel mechanism complementing the current HAART therapy is becoming extremely important," said CEO, Eugene Seymour.
"The HIV virus mutates constantly resulting in failure of HAART therapy regimens. In some countries, it has now mutated to such an extent that in up to 40% of patients the standard HAART therapy has become ineffective."
The company's nanoviricide class of drugs are being developed against a number of viral diseases, including H1N1 swine flu, H5N1 bird flu, seasonal Influenza, oral and genital Herpes, viral Hepatitis C, and Ebola virus, among others.
A recent study of anti-flu treatment FluCide showed that the drug was better than oseltamivir, or Tamiflu, with a 1,000-fold greater viral load reduction than the standard flu therapy, after optimization.
"The results of the current study have provided important insight to guide the next cycle of chemical optimization. We clearly know now that we are on the right path," said president Anil R. Diwan.