NanoViricides (OTCBB:NNVC) said on Monday that its anti-flu drug candidates under its FluCide program were nearly as effective orally as when they were given as IV injections - in terms of reduced lung viral load.
Two different anti-flu drug candidates were tested in the oral versus intravenous comparison on animals, and both groups showed similar results, which indicated "strong oral effectiveness", the drug developer said.
The development-stage company's nanoviricide class of drugs are designed to specifically attack enveloped virus particles and to dismantle them, with drugs being developed against a number of viral diseases, including different types of the flu, HIV and gential Herpes.
"The results clearly demonstrated that oral administration of both of these FluCide drug candidates resulted in substantially superior animal protection compared to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), a standard of care for influenza at present," NanoViricides said in Monday's statement.
One of the FluCide drugs, when administered orally, resulted in a 20 times reduction in lung viral load, and matched the viral load reduction on the same drug candidate when given as an IV injection.
The other FluCide candidate tested resulted in a similar result as the IV group, the company said.
In contrast, Tamiflu, the standard method of care, saw only 4 times lung viral load reduction when compared to infected and untreated animals.
The drug maker said the results of the lung viral load were measured at 108 hours post-infection.
The number of lung plagues and plaque areas that resulted from the flu infection, were also "minimal" in the nanoviricide drug candidate stream, whether given as IV or orally.
"Oseltamivir treatment did not protect the lungs of infected animals anywhere close to the protection afforded by the FluCide drug candidates," it said.
The company also said that the results show the FluCide drugs, when given orally, almost matched the effectiveness of the injectable form given at 0.3 times of the oral dosage level.
Chemistries were modified in by NanoViricides in an effort to make its drugs potentially available for oral administration. It previously reported lung viral load reduction as high as 1,000 times with its "best injectable" FluCide candidate in the same lethal animal model.
The company said it believes that oral administration is an important attribute and "the trade-off in efficacy" due to the change in chemistry is acceptable.
"We can easily increase the effectiveness of our drugs by increasing the oral dosage," said president Anil R. Diwan, PhD, noting further that, "we have seen no adverse events in this study."
The total quantity of FluCide drug given orally was 3.33 times that of the drug given as injectable, to adjust for expected reduction in the amount of drug going into blood circulation.
The company is awaiting additional data from the studies and plans to release information as the data are analyzed.