NanoViricides (OTCBB:NNVC) announced Monday that its anti-HIV drug candidate, HIVCide, achieved a positive, long-term effect with fewer and weaker doses than the traditional anti-retroviral combination therapy.
In a recent study with mice, the West Haven, Connecticut-based company found that the anti-viral effect of its HIVCide drug continued throughout the full 48 days of the study, despite the fact that HIVCide doses were stopped after 20 days.
The benefits of the company's drug were sustained for at least four weeks after the last dose.
HIVCide works by mimicking cellular structures to which the virus binds, specifically attacking and dismantling them.
In addition to requiring fewer doses, NanoViricides believes its HIVCide drug is superior to the current antiretroviral drug cocktails as its therapy requires a lower drug load.
The HIVCide total dosage was 1,200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), eight times over the first 20 days of the study, whereas the dose in the comparative arm was 4,800 mg/kg, continued throughout the full 48 days of the trial.
NanoViricides said the HIV viral load, or the measured severity of viral infection, was the same in both arms of the animal study. The HIVCide group also displayed no side effects or adverse effects.
"There are several huge problems with the current HIV therapy," explained CEO Eugene Seymour.
"These include side effects, viral resistance, and patient compliance issues; all of which can lead to discontinuation of therapy.
"A drug that is administered once a week or less frequently, and continues to work without adverse side effects, would be of great benefit to patients."
The study was performed on mice whose lymphocytes and immune system cells had been replaced by human cells, where the HIV infection occurred.
Importantly, the development stage company also noted that drug metabolism in mice is known to be much faster than human metabolism. Should the drug be effective in human trials, the HIVCide treatment could become a once-per-week or twice-per-month dosage.
"If our humanized mouse study results are confirmed in human clinical trials, this would be a great advance in HIV/AIDS therapy," Seymour added.
"If the results hold up in human studies, we think that we would have a 'functional cure' of HIV/AIDS."
NanoViricides, which is also developing drugs against viral diseases like H1N1 swine flu, H5N1 bird flu, Herpes, Hepatitis C, Rabies and Dengue fever, among others, saw its stock on the OTC Bulletin Board spike 14.02% today, to trade at $1.22 per share as of 12:39 pm EDT.