Kimer Med is a post-seed biotech start-up, located in Nelson, New Zealand, developing a new broad-spectrum antiviral drug. The compound, which we call VTose®, is a derivative of DRACO, which was tested and found effective in vitro against 15 different viruses in 11 tissue types, and against Influenza H1N1 in mice. We plan to test against SARS-CoV-2, HIV, Hepatitis B, and other human viruses, as well as viruses which affect animals. Eventually, we plan to conduct clinical trials.
The harm to human life caused by pathogenic viruses, historically and currently, is on an enormous scale. Historically, viruses such as smallpox killed hundreds of millions, perhaps over 300 million as late as the 20th century. The polio virus paralyzed over 15,000 annually. The 1918 flu pandemic killed upwards of 100 million.
Today, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic broke the world and continues to cause massive harm to health and economies. Perhaps 370 million are infected with Hepatitis B, 40 million with HIV, countless millions with Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 viruses, hundreds of millions with Human Papilloma virus, perhaps 400 million with Dengue, and perhaps a billion infected annually with strains of the influenza virus.
While vaccination has been an effective approach to mitigate the spread of many viruses, some viruses have proven difficult to vaccinate against. And viruses with a high mutation rate eventually evade any fixed vaccine, requiring constant revision and re-vaccination.
A very broad spectrum antiviral is an indispensable addition to the arsenal of vaccination. An ideal one would effectively treat an enormous range of viruses, both currently known and unknown future ones, including the very real threat of bioterror and state sponsored novel bioweapons. We think that such an antiviral is possible.