NanoBio, With Glaxo as Big Partner, Sees Market in Treating and (Maybe) Preventing Cold Sores

7/15/10Follow @xconomy

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result, suggested that the NanoBio treatment could do more than just heal the sore, but actually prevent it from forming in a subgroup of patients. No company has ever been able to claim that a drug can prevent cold sores.

“They licensed our product to be the new improved Abreva when it comes off patent 2014,” Peralta says. “There’s an opportunity for us there.”

What happens next in development of NB-001 is the big story for NanoBio, but that’s really only part of what the 21-person venture has on its plate these days. The company has raised about $60 million in equity, and another $40 million in various grants, plus the roughly $15 million from Glaxo so far. Taken together, that gives the company about two years worth of operating cash in the bank, Peralta says.

That financial cushion has allowed NanoBio to pursue a broader strategy of treatments for the skin, and for which you want a potent, locally delivered drug, that doesn’t circulate through the bloodstream and potentially cause unwanted side effects. A potent drug for killing tough-to-treat nail fungus (onychomycosis), called NB-002, falls into this category. That drug has passed an interim analysis of a 443-patient clinical trial, demonstrating safety and effectiveness compared to a placebo, Peralta says.

NanoBio is preparing its game plan for a Phase III clinical trial required to get the drug approved for sale by the FDA, and it is in conversations with potential development partners, Peralta says. There is no competitor on the market today with an effective topical, and an estimated 6 to 8 percent of the adult population has this kind of nail fungus infection, usually in the toes.

There was a whole range of other things Peralta wanted to mention when we spoke a few weeks back, including an inhalable antibiotic for nasty lung infections found in cystic fibrosis patients. NanoBio also envisions creating new formulations of vaccines, particularly so they can be given via nasal sprays for people who want to avoid needles. Much of that stuff is still in its very early days, so I figured such things would be better to cover when more evidence of their effects emerges. But I took it as a good sign that Peralta was willing to talk about so much in the pipeline, not just one lead asset.

“We think we really have some positive news flow to come,” Peralta says.

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