Nanoviricides teams up with UC - Berkeley professor to test dengue virus drug candidates

A research and development agreement has been signed between NanoViricides, Inc., and the laboratory of Dr. Eva Harris at the University of California - Berkeley to evaluate the effectiveness of Nanoviricides drug candidates against dengue viruses.

Nanoviricides believes that its currently under development candidates will offer a broad-spectrum anti-dengue antiviral treatment that will be capable of attacking all four dengue virus serotypes and their variant strains.

There are currently no approved vaccines for the prevention of dengue, which is considered a potential bioterror threat, and there are no drugs for treatment of dengue virus infection.

To test the drug candidates, Dr. Harris' lab will employ cell culture models and in vivo animal studies.

Dr. Harris, a professor of infectious diseases at UC - Berkeley, is a leading researcher in the dengue field. A unique animal model for dengue virus infection and disease has been developed by Dr. Harris' group that effectively emulates the pathology seen in humans.

Dr. Harris' animal model reproduces the "Antibody-Dependent Enhancement" portion of dengue, considered a critical problem in the virus' infection. As a result of this part of the virus, a person infected with one serotype of the virus who is later infected with a different serotype will produce antibodies that increase the severity of the virus rather than controlling it.