NanoViricides Says Its Nanomedicine Tech Could Be the Key To Defeating Omicron and Other COVID-19 Variants

NanoViricides Says Its Nanomedicine Tech Could Be the Key To Defeating Omicron and Other COVID-19 Variants

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The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

The day after Thanksgiving, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern, and named it “Omicron”. 

The announcement shook global markets — causing a 2% dip in both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq markets along with a 900-point plunge in the Dow — as news of yet another variant dashed hopes of making a full and rapid return to normalcy and economic stability. Investors and scientists alike now have a renewed sense of urgency in the quest to find a treatment powerful enough to combat all existing and future variants of COVID-19. 

NanoViricides Inc. NNVC is a developmental-stage biopharma company working on a nanomedicine platform that it hopes could potentially become a broad-spectrum antiviral to fight nearly all viral strains and subtypes. As it pivots its research focus to COVID-19, NanoViricides’s research team is optimistic that its technology could be a turning point in the fight. Here’s what’s known about Omicron so far and why the NanoViricides platform could be a key to stopping it and any other variants that might emerge.

Early Evidence Suggests Omicron May Escape Existing Vaccines

While the WHO doesn’t have enough data yet to determine whether Omicron is more infectious and more severe than other variants, preliminary evidence suggests that it may be spreading more easily than earlier variants — even among patients who’ve already had COVID-19 or been vaccinated. 

While the vaccines are still able to reduce the severity of the disease and minimize fatalities, the emergence of Omicron is another signal that the race to beat COVID-19 for good will likely not be finished until we find a way to fight any and all mutations of the virus.

The recent approval by the Food and Drug Administration for booster shots of Pfizer Inc. PFE, Moderna Inc. MRNA and Johnson & Johnson JNJ vaccines for adults 18 and older could help strengthen protection against earlier variants and generally slow the spread and mutation of the virus. 

However, it’s still unclear how effective these vaccines are against Omicron and, until vaccination rates reach higher levels, the threat of even more variants beyond this latest one continues to exist. 

Ultimately, we need a treatment that can effectively disable the virus and continue to work even as it mutates. That’s where NanoViricides believes its technology can play a role.

How the NanoViricides Platform Works

NanoViricides originally began developing its antiviral platform to treat shingles, but when the COVID-19 outbreak began, the biopharma company pivoted to adapting its nanomedicine technology to fight the pandemic. 

NanoViricides says its platform is highly tailorable allowing drugs to be developed for a broad range of viruses, which allowed the Company  to quickly develop broad-spectrum antivirals against coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Where vaccines and many other antivirals rely on antibodies, the NanoViricides platform uses a virus’s binding site to attack. Once the drug attaches to that binding site, it engulfs the virus particle completely so that the virus cannot infect a new cell at all,  thus slowing down the rate at which the virus reproduces and spreads. Now trapped and prevented from infecting and therefore rapidly reproducing, the platform essentially blocks the virus in its tracks. 

That mechanism of attaching to the virus is what could make this technology a breakthrough weapon in the fight against COVID-19, according to the company. The binding site on the surface of a cell to which the virus binds does not change, even as the virus mutates. By copying these invariant features, in effect, allows the technology to attack a broader range of strains and subtypes and isn’t a treatment that the virus could become resistant to even after very large numbers of  mutations. It is this broad-spectrum potential, in fact, that makes it a candidate for treating all COVID-19 variants. 

Preliminary results from the biopharma company’s cell culture studies have already demonstrated that the technology can effectively suppress COVID-19. With such positive early data, NanoViricides is now preparing documents to file for approval to begin human clinical trials of its pioneering antiviral treatment.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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