SHELTON, CONNECTICUT – February 16, 2021 — NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE American: NNVC) (the “Company”) a global leader in the development of highly effective antiviral therapies based on a novel nanomedicines platform (the “Company”), has filed its quarterly report for its second quarter of financial year 2021 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release should be read in conjunction with the Company’s Form 10-Q filed on February 15, 2021. The submission can be downloaded from the SEC website at: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1379006/000110465920125844/tm2034254d1_10q.htm.
The Company reported that it had approximately $18.39 Million (M) of current assets (cash, cash equivalents, and prepaid expenses), and current cash liabilities of approximately $0.34M. On December 31, 2020, the Company repaid the short term mortgage loan of $1.1M secured by the Company’s facility that the Company had obtained in December 2019 from Dr. Anil Diwan, founder and President of the Company. As of December 31, 2020 the Company has no debt, and the Stockholder’s equity was approximately $27.74M. During the six-month period ended December 31, 2020 the Company used approximately $4.55M in cash toward operating activities. The Company’s expenditures were in line with budget estimates. (All figures are unaudited). The Company had no revenues.
The Company believes it has sufficient funds for initial human clinical trials of at least one of its drug candidates.
The Company has been developing pan-coronavirus broad-spectrum antiviral drug candidates for the treatment of infected persons with COVID-19 since the first news of the novel 2019-nCoV disease came out. The Company has successfully advanced two drug candidates towards human clinical trials. NV-CoV-2 is a nanoviricide® that is designed to attack coronaviruses irrespective of the variant. The Company recently reported in a press release that NV-CoV-2 had successfully completed GLP core safety pharmacology studies, required prior to filing an IND, and was found to be safe. In addition, the Company has developed NV-CoV-2-R, which is a drug candidate that encapsulates (holds in its “belly”) remdesivir inside the NV-CoV-2 nanomicelles. NV-CoV-2-R is thus designed to attack both (1) the virus lifecycle outside the cells, and (2) the virus lifecycle inside the cells, enabling complete control of the infection. Therefore NV-CoV-2-R is expected to be a cure for the virus.
The Company is preparing to submit a pre-IND application to the US FDA with safety tolerability and effectiveness data to obtain guidance regarding human clinical trials. Additionally, we are actively seeking opportunities to engage appropriate sites for human clinical trials. Further, we are engaged in the preparation of clinical trial protocols and other activities that would be necessary for submitting an IND application to the US FDA.
The need for the broad-spectrum, pan-coronavirus nanoviricide drug treatment cannot be overstated for combating the COVID-19 pandemic given the current circumstances and the present status of the pandemic. New virus variants continue to develop in the field. The variants that have advantages in terms of transmissibility, infectivity, and escape from drugs and vaccines will continue to evolve and spread, replacing prior variants, especially under pressure of the use of vaccines and antibodies. The phenomenon that viruses develop variants to escape vaccines and antibodies is well known.
Of concern is the fact that a mutation that is thought to enable the virus to escape a number of current vaccines, E484K, already present in the South African variant B1.351, and the Brazilian variant P.1, has spontaneously and independently arisen sporadically within the B1.1.7 UK-Kent variant. At present, B.1.1.7 is spreading in the USA, and is projected to become the dominant variant soon.
The available monoclonal antibody drugs and convalescent plasma antibodies have been reported to be less effective against several variants.
By the very nature of how they work, vaccines and antibodies tend to be highly specific to the target virus variant, and do not afford strong protection against differentiated variants that are evolutionary distant from the target variant. This scientific fact is now well demonstrated for the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is therefore clear that effective broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus drugs such as the Company’s NV-CoV-2 and NV-CoV-2-R will be needed before the world can return to normal activity.
The Company has developed NV-CoV-2 based on its platform nanoviricides® technology. This approach enables rapid development of new drugs against a number of different viruses. A nanoviricide is a “biomimetic” – it is designed to “look like” the cell surface to the virus. The nanoviricide technology enables direct attacks at multiple points on a virus particle. It is believed that such attacks would lead to the virus particle becoming ineffective at infecting cells. Antibodies in contrast attack a virus particle at only a maximum of two attachment points per antibody.
It is anticipated that when a virus comes in contact with the nanoviricide, not only would it land on the nanoviricide surface, binding to the copious number of ligands presented there, but it would also get entrapped because the nanomicelle polymer would turn around and fuse with the virus lipid envelope, harnessing a well known biophysical phenomenon called “lipid-lipid mixing”. In a sense, a nanoviricide drug acts against viruses like a “venus-fly-trap” flower does against insects. Unlike antibodies that tag the virus and require the human immune system to take over and complete the task of dismantling the virus, a nanoviricide is a nanomachine that is designed to not only bind to the virus but also complete the task of rendering the virus particle ineffective.
In addition, the nanoviricide technology also simultaneously enables attacking the rapid intracellular reproduction of the virus by incorporating one or more active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) within the core of the nanoviricide. The nanoviricide® technology is the only technology in the world, to the best of our knowledge, that is capable of both (a) attacking extracellular virus, thereby breaking the reinfection cycle, and simultaneously (b) disrupting intracellular production of the virus, thereby enabling complete control of a virus infection.
The Company has developed NV-CoV-2-R based on this encapsulation capability that is built in its nanoviricide NV-CoV-2. The Company has chosen to encapsulate “remdesivir” as the participating drug for blocking the viral replication cycle. Remdesivir is approved by the US FDA for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Encapsulation of remdesivir in the Company’s nanoviricide envelope is expected to protect it from metabolism in the body. This protection can be expected to lead to significant enhancement in the effectiveness of remdesivir itself (due to the encapsulated form), by potentially increasing both the effective remdesivir concentration and its duration of action. This could be an additional favorable effect for the Company’s anti-coronavirus drug candidate NV-CoV-2-R. Remdesivir is sponsored by Gilead. The Company is developing its drug candidates independently at present.
NanoViricides, Inc. (the “Company”)(www.nanoviricides.com) 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. Our lead drug candidate is NV-HHV-101 with its first indication as dermal topical cream for the treatment of shingles rash. In addition, we are developing a clinical candidate for the treatment of COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The Company cannot project an exact date for filing an IND for this drug because of its dependence on a number of external collaborators and consultants.
The Company is now working on tasks for completing an IND application. The Company is currently pursuing two separate drug candidates for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. NV-CoV-2 is our nanoviricide drug candidate that does not encapsulate remdesivir. NV-CoV-2-R is our other drug candidate that is made up of NV-CoV-2 with remdesivir encapsulated in it. The Company believes that since remdesivir is already US FDA approved, our drug candidate encapsulating remdesivir is likely to be an approvable drug, if safety is comparable. Remdesivir is developed by Gilead. The Company has developed both of own drug candidates NV-CoV-2 and NV-CoV-2-R independently.
The Company intends to re-engage into an IND application to the US FDA for NV-HHV-101 drug candidate for the treatment of shingles once its COVID-19 project moves into clinical trials, based on resources availability. The NV-HHV-101 program was slowed down because of the effects of recent COVID-19 restrictions, and re-prioritization for COVID-19 drug development work.
The Company is also developing drugs against a number of viral diseases including oral and genital Herpes, viral diseases of the eye including EKC and herpes keratitis, H1N1 swine flu, H5N1 bird flu, seasonal Influenza, HIV, Hepatitis C, Rabies, Dengue fever, and Ebola virus, among others. NanoViricides’ platform technology and programs are based on the TheraCour® nanomedicine technology of TheraCour, which TheraCour licenses from AllExcel. NanoViricides holds a worldwide exclusive perpetual license to this technology for several drugs with specific targeting mechanisms in perpetuity for the treatment of the following human viral diseases: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Rabies, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2), Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV), Influenza and Asian Bird Flu Virus, Dengue viruses, Japanese Encephalitis virus, West Nile Virus and Ebola/Marburg viruses. The Company has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with TheraCour that provides a limited license for research and development for drugs against human coronaviruses. The Company intends to obtain a full license and has begun the process for the same. The Company’s technology is based on broad, exclusive, sub-licensable, field licenses to drugs developed in these areas from TheraCour Pharma, Inc. The Company’s business model is based on licensing technology from TheraCour Pharma Inc. for specific application verticals of specific viruses, as established at its foundation in 2005.
As is customary, the Company must state the risk factor that the path to typical drug development of any pharmaceutical product is extremely lengthy and requires substantial capital. As with any drug development efforts by any company, there can be no assurance at this time that any of the Company’s pharmaceutical candidates would show sufficient effectiveness and safety for human clinical development. Further, there can be no assurance at this time that successful results against coronavirus in our lab will lead to successful clinical trials or a successful pharmaceutical product.
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 preclinical 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.
FDA refers to US Food and Drug Administration. IND application refers to “Investigational New Drug” application. cGMP refers to current Good Manufacturing Practices. CMC refers to “Chemistry, Manufacture, and Controls”. CHMP refers to the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, which is the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) committee responsible for human medicines.