NanoViricides, Inc. reports that its anti-herpes drug candidates demonstrated significant efficacy in the recently completed cell culture studies. The studies were performed in the laboratory of Dr. Ken Rosenthal at Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy.
Several of the anti-herpes nanoviricides® demonstrated a dose-dependent maximal inhibition of herpes virus infectivity in a cell culture model. Almost complete inhibition of the virus production was observed at clinically usable concentrations. These studies employed the H129 strain of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). H129 is an encephalitic strain that closely resembles a clinical isolate; it is known to be more virulent than classic HSV-1 laboratory strains. The H129 strain will be used in subsequent animal testing of nanoviricides.
This anti-HSV program is designed for the development of an effective anti-herpes nanoviricide drug for the treatment of cold sores or genital herpes simplex virus infections. The company plans to develop this drug as a skin cream or ointment formulation for external application.
The nanoviricides® mechanism of action is believed to mimic a natural host cell receptor by which the virus binds and infects cells; binding of a nanoviricide nanomicelle to the virus renders it non-infectious. A nanoviricide would thus stop the spread of the viral infection to new uninfected cells. This mechanism is different from that of currently available anti-Herpes drugs and therefore is expected to be complementary to that of the current drugs.
"These results extend the earlier results of our anti-herpes nanoviricides® testing in different HSV-1 cell culture models at other laboratories," said Randall Barton, PhD, chief scientific officer, adding, "These studies will enable the selection of optimal anti-herpes nanoviricides® for evaluation in animal models of herpes virus infections."
Rosenthals laboratory has developed an improved mouse model of skin-infection by HSV-1 that exhibits uniform onset and progression of zosteriform lesions. The virulent H129 HSV-1 strain will be used for evaluating selected nanoviricides in this model. The uniform disease onset and progression make it an ideal model for comparative testing of various drug candidates that, the Company believes, can be expected to lead to a broad-spectrum anti-HSV antiviral treatment capable of attacking both HSV-1 and HSV-2.
The company has developed a library of small chemical ligands that bind to the herpes virus envelope proteins. Using these ligands, a number of candidate nanoviricides that are capable of attacking the herpes virus have been developed. The company believes that these nanoviricide drug candidates mimic the natural, common attachment function of the bodys host cells using which both HSV-1 and HSV-2 cause infection.