NanoViricides, Inc. (OTC BB: NNVC.OB) (the "Company"), reports that it has signed a research and development agreement with Dr. Eva Harris’s laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
“We will now be able to rapidly advance our anti-dengue therapeutics program.”
Under this agreement, Dr. Harris and coworkers will evaluate the effectiveness of nanoviricides® drug candidates against various dengue viruses. Cell culture models as well as in vivo animal studies will be employed for testing the drug candidates.
The Company believes that a nanoviricide drug under development can be expected to be a broad-spectrum anti-dengue antiviral treatment capable of attacking all four dengue virus serotypes and their variant strains. Currently there are no approved vaccines for the prevention of dengue, nor drugs for treatment of dengue virus infection. The worldwide market size for an effective anti-dengue treatment may be as large as that for Hepatitis C virus treatment, or in the billions of dollars, based on current population exposure data.
Dr. Eva Harris is a Professor of Infectious Diseases at UC Berkeley. She is a leading researcher in the field of dengue. Her group has developed a unique animal model for dengue virus infection and disease that effectively emulates the pathology seen in humans. In particular, the critical problem of dengue virus infection, called “Antibody-Dependent Enhancement” (ADE), is reproduced in this animal model. When a person who was previously infected with one serotype of dengue virus is later infected by a different serotype, the antibodies produced by the immune system can lead to increased severity of the second dengue infection, instead of controlling it. ADE thus can lead to severe dengue disease or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).