NanoViricides, Inc. today reported that its broad-spectrum antiviral drug candidate, NV-387 was highly effective in an animal model that is used in drug development for mpox and smallpox virus infections in humans.
NV-387 is currently in Phase 1a/1b human clinical trials for COVID-19 indication in India, under sponsorship by their licensee and collaborator, Karveer Meditech, Pvt. Ltd. In addition to broad-spectrum activity against seasonal coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2, NV-387 was previously found to have strong activity against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that was comparable to the last-resort drug Ribavirin.
The current study indicates that NV-387 is active against viruses in the genus of Orthopoxviruses as well.
NV-387 is designed to mimic a host cell membrane bearing “Sulfated Proteoglycans” (S-PG) family of virus attachment receptors. S-PG receptors taken together are involved in the re-infection lifecycle of more than 90% of human pathogenic viruses.
Oral NV-387 treatment led to 14 days of survival, matching the 14 days survival on oral Tecovorimat treatment. In contrast, untreated and vehicle-treated animals died in only 8 days, indicating an increase of 6 days, or 75%, in the lifespan for both NV-387 and Tecovirimat, in this lethal model comprising intra-digital infection by the Ectromelia virus into the footpads of mice. Moreover, a formulation combining NV-387 and Tecovirimat, that called NV-387-m-T, led to a significantly greater survival of 17 days, indicating an impressive increase of 9 days, or 112%, in survival lifespan, in this study. The increase in lifespan in comparison to the untreated animals in such lethal virus infection models serves as a clear primary endpoint indicative of the relative effectiveness of different drugs.
Tecovirimat (“TPOXX®“, SIGA Pharmaceuticals) is an approved smallpox therapeutic. It was mobilized from the US Government stockpile for the treatment of mpox infection during the recent mpox epidemic. Additional therapeutics that work with Tecovirimat such as NV-387 may reduce the required dosage and dosing period enabling rapid patient recovery.
We believe that the successes of NV-387 as a broad-spectrum antiviral bode well for validating the multiple modalities in which our Nanoviricides Platform Technology can be employed to revolutionize the treatment of viral infections as well as pandemic preparedness response.
Smallpox-causing Variola virus is considered a significant biodefense threat. While smallpox vaccines are available, their general public health usage has stopped after smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, leaving persons under the age of about 45 vulnerable.
There is significant interest in the development of a smallpox therapeutic drug that works well by itself, as well as in combination with Tecovirimat.
NanoViricides, Inc. is a development stage company that is creating special purpose nanomaterials for antiviral therapy. The company’s novel nanoviricide® class of drug candidates are designed to specifically attack enveloped virus particles and to dismantle them. Their lead drug candidate is NV-CoV-2 (API NV-387) for the treatment of COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.