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NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC.OB) (the "Company"), announced today that it has signed a pre-clinical study agreement for the evaluation of FluCide™, NanoViricides' universal anti-influenza drug candidate. The study will be conducted by Thevac, LLC, a spin-off of the Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, LA. It will be performed in collaboration with the Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, which administers the LSU-Tulane Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research (Director, K. G. Kousoulas, PhD).
The study will initially evaluate effectiveness of nanoviricide™ drug candidates against a virulent H1N1 strain which caused a severe outbreak in 1930. This well-characterized virus is expected to be a good surrogate for the current 2009 H1N1 influenza ("swine flu") that is in the pre-pandemic stage according to the WHO. The study will then be expanded to include other influenza subtypes that are feared to be on the horizon, such as H3N2.
"We are very pleased to have a recognized expert like Dr. Kousoulas associated with this study," said Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of NanoViricides, Inc.
The Company has previously reported that a prior version of FluCide drug candidate was superior in its effect by a very large margin when compared to oseltamivir (Tamiflu®, Roche) in an animal study. The Company has also previously reported that the same drug candidate was highly effective in cell culture studies against two different kinds of H5N1 bird flu virus, namely Vietnam 2004 Clade I virus, and Vietnam 2006 Clade II virus. The latter is closely related to the Indonesia 2006 H5N1 virus that is currently causing human fatalities in Indonesia.
"We have significantly improved the chemistry of the anti-influenza nanoviricide, both in terms of the ligand, and in terms of the backbone polymer since those early studies," said Anil R. Diwan, Ph.D., President of the Company, adding, "We expect the new drug candidate to be even more effective than the previous one. This improved candidate is also expected to be effective against a much broader spectrum of influenza viruses than the previous one."
NanoViricides, Inc. believes that it is possible to design a single drug capable of attacking most if not all influenza viruses because all influenza viruses use the same cell surface receptor, called sialic acid. While sialic acid occurs in two distinct conformations, the Company believes that it has designed ligands that may be capable of mimicking both of these conformations. A nanoviricide is a cell surface mimetic, and thus is designed to trap a virus particle that is targeted by the ligand attached to the nanoviricide surface. Such trapping may be expected to lead to disassembly of the virus particle, or complete killing of the virus. This represents a substantial advance beyond immunotherapeutics, or use of antibodies to combat viral diseases.
"The NanoViricides technology appears to be very promising for treating a variety of viral diseases including influenza," says Dr. Kousoulas. Dr. Kousoulas has been previously involved with several influenza animal studies.
About THEVAC, LLC
THEVAC, LLC is a LSU spin-of company, which has been formed to produce valuable reagents and provide sophisticated services to industry in collaboration with LSU Baton Rouge.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. Actual events could differ materially and substantially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors. Certain statements in this release, and other written or oral statements made by NanoViricides, Inc. are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Company's control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the company's expectations include, but are not limited to, those factors that are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in documents filed by the company from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities. Although it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors, they may include the following: demonstration and proof of principle in pre-clinical trials that a nanoviricide is safe and effective; successful development of our product candidates; our ability to seek and obtain regulatory approvals, including with respect to the indications we are seeking; the successful commercialization of our product candidates; and market acceptance of our products.
About NanoViricides, Inc.
NanoViricides, Inc. (www.nanoviricides.com) is a development stage company that is creating special purpose nanomaterials for viral therapy. The Company's novel nanoviricide™ class of drug candidates are designed to specifically attack enveloped virus particles and to dismantle them. The Company is developing drugs against a number of viral diseases including H5N1 bird flu, seasonal Influenza, HIV, EKC, Hepatitis C, Rabies, Dengue fever, and Ebola virus, among others.
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Amanda Schuon, 310-550-7200
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