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Solexan™ Demonstrates Potent Activity Against the Shingles Virus In A Human Skin Model

Testing of Wintermute’s topical antimicrobial therapy, Solexan™, at the State University of New York shows it has potent activity against Varicella Zoster Virus.

Wintermute Biomedical
January 9, 2022

We are excited to share that preclinical testing shows Solexan™ has potent activity against the shingles virus, Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) in a gold standard ex vivo model.

This study was performed at the State University of New York in collaboration with VZV expert, Professor Jennifer Moffat.

Using a live human skin organ culture model developed in Professor Moffat’s lab, Solexan™’s activity against VZV in human skin was established.

This model is the gold standard preclinical model for testing shingles drug candidates since an animal model for shingles has proven difficult to develop

Results in this VZV-infected skin model showed that after two treatments of Solexan™ over 3 days, Solexan™ was equally as effective at reducing viral load in the skin as Cidofovir, the gold standard antiviral for shingles.

Cidofovir is an oral antiviral and must be taken within 72 h of symptoms presenting to be effective. Despite cidofovir’s activity against VZV, it does not reduce shingles-induced pain, which is the most severe of shingles symptoms.

We believe the topical application of Solexan™ will not only control the shingles infection but also reduce pain in shingles patients.

Our Key Opinion Leader for our shingles program – Professor Myron Levin, a leader in the development of the shingles vaccine – says a new shingles therapy that reduces pain is urgently needed. 

‘Shingles is a major health burden in the US (1.3 million cases/year) and is equally prevalent in every region of the world. There is a great need for an effective treatment that will safely reduce the consequences of shingles,’ Says Professor Levin.

Wintermute began the shingles program with Solexan™ (previously referred to as GS-1) in 2021 when the rising global incidence of shingles and the lack of effective shingles therapies was identified. 

These exciting preclinical results give promise that Solexan™ may provide effective relief for shingles patients. 

Our next step is to undergo safety testing with topical Solexan™ in healthy volunteers. 

Find out more about Solexan™ and our shingles pipeline here.