NanoViricides (OTC:NNVC) said Monday that animal candidates receiving its oral FluCide drug showed "dramatically improved survival" when administered a lethal dose of the H3N2 influenza A virus, compared to those given oral oseltamivir.
The news sent shares of the company up 3.99 per cent as at about 11 a.m., to 62.6 cents apiece.
The company's nanoviricide class of drug candidates are designed to specifically attack enveloped virus particles and to dismantle them. It said this is the first demonstration of efficacy of its FluCide drug candidates against a completely unrelated type of influenza A virus (H3N2), in contrast to the H1N1 Influenza A virus that the company has used for its recent development work leading to its pre-IND application with the US FDA.
NanoViricides said that animals treated with the best of the oral FluCide nanoviricide drug candidates survived 15.6 days while the animals treated with oral oseltamivir, or Tamiflu, survived only 9.6 days. The control animals died within five days.
"This demonstration is a key finding along the way to establish that our FluCide drug candidates are indeed broad-spectrum," said president Anil R. Diwan, PhD.
"We are very pleased that their effectiveness levels are substantially superior to Tamiflu."
The drug maker said it has recently established oral effectiveness of its anti-influenza drug candidates in an H1N1 influenza A lethal infection mouse model, and believes that this may be the "first ever" targeted nanomedicine that is orally effective.
NanoViricides said it intends to develop data about the effectiveness of its drug candidates against certain unrelated influenza A viruses using both cell culture studies and animal models.
The data will be needed as part of an application that is required for the company to enter into human clinical trials.
The H3N2 influenza virus is one of the multiple sub-types of influenza A that cause seasonal epidemics.
The company said that it believes an orally administered nanoviricide that protects against multiple influenza virus sub-types would be effective in influenza epidemics.
"Such a highly effective, broad-spectrum anti-influenza drug is widely anticipated to be highly successful," saidNanoViricides in a statement.
Additional "clinically important parameters" are being analyzed to confirm the therapeutic potential of the oral FluCide drug candidates against H3N2, said the company, adding that the results of these investigations will be reported as they become available.
NanoViricides said it has previously shown the effectiveness of its very early anti-influenza drug candidates against two different strains of H5N1 Bird Flu virus in cell culture studies.
The development stage company is developing drugs against a number of viral diseases including H1N1 swine flu, H5N1 bird flu, seasonal influenza, HIV, oral and genital herpes, viral diseases of the eye including EKC and herpes keratitis, Hepatitis C, rabies, Dengue fever, and Ebola virus, among others.
The company said earlier this month that the potential of an oral anti-influenza nanoviricide drug has "important implications for disease treatment".
Specifically, NanoViricides said that it believes that an oral nanoviricide drug used either alone, or in combination with other antiviral agents in humans with seasonal flu, could possibly reduce the number of cases of severe illness and of associated death, adding that the effectiveness of such a regimen would be "substantially superior to that with the current standard of care medicines for flu".
Of clinical importance, the World Health Organization reports that the greatest risk to public health is the emergence of influenza A viruses in the general population for which immunity is lacking, said the company.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the flu is a highly communicable acute respiratory disease that is considered to be one of the major infectious disease threats to the human population.
During seasonal epidemics, five to 15 per cent of the world population is typically infected, resulting in three to five million cases of severe illness affecting all age groups.