Viriom has entered into a collaboration with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to identify new drug candidates for treatment of the Zika and other important virus infections. Under the collaboration agreement, Viriom and Dr. Leo Margolis of NICHD will study and improve the antiviral properties of Viriom's lead compounds against the Zika virus, HBV, HCV, HIV, RSV and other clinically relevant viruses.
Zika virus is spread predominantly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. During pregnancy, the Zika virus infection can cause severe fetal abnormalities, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. As of January 2017, about 40,000 Zika virus infection cases were reported in the US with no treatment currently available. The new collaboration aims at capitalizing on Viriom's existing antiviral platform to provide an innovative solution to the Zika virus outbreaks, and to curb global spread of the established and emerging viral diseases.
"This collaboration is a valuable opportunity for Viriom to test and improve the efficacy of its lead candidates for a variety of indications," said Dr. Nikolay Savchuk, chairman of the board at Viriom. "We look forward to our collaboration with NICHD and believe that their expertise in laboratory research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies will allow us to strengthen our antiviral portfolio and develop more effective treatments for Zika virus infections and other socially significant viral diseases."