NIH Grant Awarded for Acyclovir Resistance Ocular Herpes Keratitis

Professor Robert Ricciardi, ViRAZE founder and inventor, has partnered with Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center (FCCDC) and awarded an NIH grant for the development of a novel antiviral to treat and prevent acyclovir resistance in human ocular herpes keratitis. Herpes Keratitis (HK) is the leading cause of corneal blindness worldwide. In the U.S., nearly 500,000 individuals experience ocular herpes infections that are often recurrent and culminate in progressive corneal scarring and loss of vision.

The approved grant will develop new and safe antiviral compounds directed against a novel target for the herpes virus.  This approach will block viral DNA replication by a mechanism that is distinct from the acyclovir and prevent the ongoing emergence of drug-resistant mutants and eliminate the devastating loss of sight that results from ocular Herpes Keratitis.

About Herpes Keratitis (HK)

Herpes keratitis is a viral infection of the eye caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two major types of the virus. Type I is the most common and primarily infects the face, causing the familiar “cold sore” or “fever blister.” Type II is the sexually transmitted form of herpes, infecting the genitals.

While both Type I and Type II herpes can spread to the eye and cause infection, Type I is by far the most frequent cause of eye infections. Infection can be transferred to the eye by touching an active lesion (a cold sore or blister) and then your eye.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

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


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