NIH grant application submitted for drug resistant Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) in Ocular Keratitis

Professor Robert Ricciardi, ViRAZE founder and inventor, has partnered with Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center (FCCDC) on an NIH grant application to advance clinical development of novel antivirals for the treatment of drug-resistant HSV Ocular Keratitis. Using ViRAZE’s proprietary high throughput screening (HTS) drug discovery engine, new viral replication targets for HSV Ocular Keratitis were identified.  This is an important discovery since drug resistant HSV in Ocular Keratitis can lead to blindness.  Development of ocular HSV antiviral compounds may present an opportunity for a first-in-class new mechanism of action for the treatment of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in other indications.

ViRAZE’s HTS platform identified several early lead compounds that specifically inhibit the HSV-1 processivity (PF) complex, and have been shown to block viral DNA synthesis and subsequent infection.  Specifically, these compounds aim to target drug-resistant strains of HSV-1 ocular keratitis that fail to respond to the acyclovir family of compounds. Clinical development of ocular HSV-1 treatments may additionally provide an opportunity to investigate novel HTS-driven antivirals against HSV-1 and HSV-2 in the general population, representing a combined $2.8 billion market opportunity.[1]

About ViRAZE

ViRAZE is an emerging biotechnology company utilizing a patented high throughput screening (HTS) technology to discover and develop first-in-class new small molecules to treat viral diseases.  Please visit our website for further information:

About Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center (FCCDC)

Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center, Inc., (FCCDC) founded in 2008, is an emerging biotechnology company located in Doylestown, PA whose mission is to advance our clients’ basic scientific discoveries by providing value-added early drug discovery and medicinal chemistry research support for the translation of viable preclinical drug and diagnostic candidates prior to eventual entry into human clinical trials.  For additional information, please visit

[1] IMS MAT (9/2015).

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