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.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, scientists have worked to develop a vaccine to inoculate the population and stop the spread of COVID-19. The good news is they succeeded in producing multiple vaccines — in the U.S. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) — that create antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 in humans to prevent infection. The bad news is that no vaccine is 100% effective, and breakthrough cases do happen, especially as variants continue to emerge.
Not only that, but parts of the population cannot get the vaccine because of other health factors or age, and they may remain vulnerable to the virus. And that’s not considering individuals who refuse the vaccine.
If the world hopes to return to normal, the pandemic’s end has to include a treatment plan to help those who catch the coronavirus. Fortunately, the scientific community is no stranger to antivirals, as they exist in society today.
The Role of Antivirals
Antivirals are essential in the medical field to help society fend off harmful viruses and lower the risk of spreading sickness to others. For example, if a person had access to an antiviral to fight off the coronavirus, the chances of the virus developing into severe or life-threatening COVID-19 would be negligible.
Some examples of antivirals that currently exist fight off herpes, RSV, Ebola, human immunodeficiency virus, coronaviruses, and influenza A. Most of them work by blocking viral or cellular enzymes inside cells so that the reproduction of new viruses is blocked. Some of them, antibodies and “entry inhibitors,” work by binding to either the virus or its receptor on the outside surface of the cell so that the virus cannot bind to its entry receptor and thus cannot enter the cell in the first place. Antivirals also may boost the immune system and reduce the number of active viruses within the human body.
The only fully approved antiviral agent shown to have any effectiveness in stopping SARS-CoV-2 is remdesivir by Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD). This drug works as an RNA polymerase inhibitor. The problem with the drug is that it metabolizes quickly inside the body, and increasing the dosage can be toxic to humans. So, NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE: NNVC), a global leader in nanomedicine drug development, created a complementary formulation to increase the effectiveness of remdesivir. This discovery could be the key to finally winning the battle against COVID-19 worldwide.
Enhancing the Fight
The potential coronavirus cure piece, NV-CoV-2-R, works by encapsulating remdesivir and preventing it from metabolizing too quickly, extending the life of the drug over a longer period. That gives the antiviral more time within the body to fight the coronavirus without requiring an increased dose and risking toxicity to the host.
Keep in mind that the virus is actively searching for ways to survive by mutating and evading the vaccinations already in distribution as time goes on. Society can see this by the rapid spread of the delta variant. And other variants will continue to develop until science overpowers the virus.
That’s why a two-pronged approach is so essential and why NanoViricides is working hard for continued success in clinical trials. So far, the trials show that the NV-CoV-2-R extends the effectiveness of the antiviral drug remdesivir. Its component NV-CoV-2, the parent nanoviricide drug, works by attacking the virus particle outside cells. At the same time, remdesivir does its job attacking the virus reproduction inside cells. By using the encapsulation platform, doctors should also be able to use a higher concentration of remdesivir.
Advancing to a Common End
Expectations are that the combination will remain effective even against variants. So, as the coronavirus attempts to survive and break through the vaccines when approved, the nanoviricides platform coupled with the antiviral can be there to stop the virus in its tracks.
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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