Pharma Tech Outlook: Pharma Tech Magazine

NeoVirTech: Revolutionary Viral Vector Imaging

Franck Gallardo, Founder & CEO, NeoVirTechFranck Gallardo, Founder & CEO
In order to take stock of the ongoing burden of viral diseases, one needs to look no farther than daily news reports. From Ebola virus that hit West Africa to Chikungunya that affected the western hemisphere, viral epidemics claims the lives of thousands. Millions of people are chronically infected with hepatitis B and C viruses and add to the plight, the deadliness of HIV. There can be no argument that the best hope for prevention and cure of these diseases emerge from effective virology research. This is where NeoVirTech comes in with their flagship auto-fluorescence technology for rapid and efficient viral vector imaging and antiviral discovery.

NeoVirTech brings ANCHORTM to the table— a technology to investigate live cell dynamics of viruses by visualizing the way they attack the living cells. Pharmaceutical companies resort to several methods such as target-based approach, reporter cell line, and High-throughput Screening (HTS) platforms, for the discovery and research of antiviral medications. But these approaches are often inefficient. For instance, the reporter cell line method is an indirect measurement; the approach of accumulating virus’ nucleic acid by quantitative PCR will represent only an average measurement of all the sample event that occurs in a specific condition. Essentially, these methods fail to provide qualitative data for quantitative experiments. A viable solution for this predicament is a cost-effective screening technique that can quantify the replication process of viruses in real time.

“ANCHORTM technology is capable of studying cell dynamics of virus infections, their replication, and propagation to produce high-resolution images of the same” mentions Franck Gallardo, CEO, NeoVirTech. The solution allows researchers to perform phenotypic screening by considering the infection as a single test material.

ANCHOR technology is capable of studying cell dynamics of virus infections, their replication, and propagation to produce high-resolution images of the same

ANCHORTM can also be used to study the effects of drugs on viruses, cells, and the interaction of host pathogens with the cells either as inhibitors or as activators during the screening alone. The technology also gives a direct read-out of the effects of potential inhibitors on virus infections without the need for any fixation, extraction, and reagents. In effect, this speeds up the research processes and saves time and money. For complex viruses whose readouts are difficult to obtain, ANCHORTM offers direct visualization of the viral copy number. Moreover, NeoVirTech’s state of the art image analysis facility augments the process of antiviral discovery.

For conducting experiments, NeoVirTech uses their internal collection of viruses, or they generate custom auto-fluorescent viruses in accordance with their customers’ requirements. The viruses can then be studied on their high-resolution screening platform, on FDA/EMEA approved library of compounds or on the customer’s compounds of interest. Researchers can even implement NeoVirTech’s auto-fluorescent technology in their own laboratories. “We provide our expertise in antiviral screening besides focusing on the pharmaceutical market that include developing drugs for both human and animal health and bio-defense programs,” says Gallardo. The company is also serving growing markets where viruses are used as a component for manufacturing healthcare products such as devices for gene therapy, prophylactic agents (vaccine), and anti-cancer agents (oncolytics).

Besides focusing more on research on life-threatening infections and epidemics affecting both human and animal life, NeoVirTech is also undertaking experiments on discovering antiviral treatments for conditions for which cure does not exist to date. Divulging NeoVirtech’s future endeavors, Gallardo mentions that the firm is in the process of developing anti-HIV screening by being able to directly discover drugs that impact on the infection, retrotranscription, integration, and persistence of HIV genome inside living cells.
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