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: https://viraze.net/ 

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 http://www.fc-cdci.com/index.html

 

ViRAZE Featured on BIOtechNOW, BIO Online Magazine

ViRAZE was featured on BIO’s online magazine.  Dr. Rajiv Khosla CEO of ViRAZE discussed his participation in last year’s Start-Up Stadium program and how this provided a unique opportunity to present ViRAZe’s latest development and how he will now continue leveraging BIO’s One-on-One Partnering program for this year meeting in San Francisco.

BIOtechNOW, BIO’s online magazine, ViRAZE article

http://www.biotech-now.org/events/2016/05/bio-start-up-stadium-a-springboard-to-partnering-success

About Molluscum Contagiosum (MC)

Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by the virus MCV. This virus easily spreads from person to person through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing towns and clothing. Often the only sign of molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin and can appear anywhere. Most people get about 10 to 20 bumps on their skin. Whenever you can see the bumps on the skin, molluscum contagiosum is contagious.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

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: https://viraze.net/

ViRAZE will Attend and Present at BIO International Convention June 6-8thth, 2016

ViRAZE will attend BIO this year in San Francisco.  Dr. Rajiv Khosla CEO of ViRAZE has also been selected to present the company’s latest clinical development program for Molluscum Contagiosum at the BIO Business Forum being held at 3pm June 7th in Presentation room 2.

About Molluscum Contagiosum (MC)

Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by the virus MCV. It is caused by a virus. This virus easily spreads from person to person through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing towns and clothing. Often the only sign of molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin and can appear anywhere. Most people get about 10 to 20 bumps on their skin. Whenever you can see the bumps on the skin, molluscum contagiosum is contagious.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

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: https://viraze.net/

Dr. Rajiv Khosla CEO of ViRAZE Will Present at BIONJ BioPartnering Meeting May 26th, 2016

ViRAZE will participate and present at this year’s BIO-NJ BioPartnering meeting held on May 26th, 2016 at Princeton, NJ.  Dr. Khosla will provide an overview and the latest update of ViRAZE’s clinical development program for Molluscum Contagiosum.

About Molluscum Contagiosum (MC)

Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by the virus MCV. It is caused by a virus. This virus easily spreads from person to person through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing towns and clothing. Often the only sign of molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin and can appear anywhere. Most people get about 10 to 20 bumps on their skin. Whenever you can see the bumps on the skin, molluscum contagiosum is contagious.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

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: https://viraze.net/

 

ViRAZE Founder Robert Ricciardi Issued New Patent for Potent Poxvirus Inhibitors

ViRAZE founder, Professor Robert Ricciardi (University of Pennsylvania), has been issued a composition of matter patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the invention of new potent poxvirus inhibitors (US 9,233,921).  The patent identifies several chemical compounds for inhibiting, treating, or abrogating poxvirus infections. The poxvirus family includes many prominent viruses, most notably the smallpox and Molluscum contagiosum viruses. The patent’s compounds target specific mechanisms of poxvirus DNA replication.

This patent builds on the overall intellectual property portfolio and further advances the proprietary discoveries that will drive ViRAZE’s smallpox program as well as aid in the development of ViRAZE’s other drug development programs.

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: https://viraze.net/

NIH funds the development of the first drug to treat Molluscum Contagiosum

Robert Ricciardi, PhD who is the scientific founder of Viraze, is the PI on a University of Pennsylvania SBIR-NIH grant that was co-awarded to the Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center (FCCDC).  This three year grant that will further the development of a novel antiviral for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum (MC), a highly contagious skin disease caused by the poxvirus, molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV).   MCV produces skin lesions, mainly in children and immunocompromised individuals. MCV can be transmitted easily by direct skin contact and indirect contact with objects, such as towels.  The lesions are painful and can last months and cause psychological distress.  Since there are no successful drugs that are FDA approved, lesions are either treated with chemicals or physically removed, which is especially painful to children.

Up to the present, a MC specific drug has not been produced because the virus fails to grow in tissue culture cells, which is a requirement for compound screening.  The Ricciardi lab, along with UPenn colleague Stuart Isaacs MD, have found a work-around solution to this roadblock by developing a hybrid virus that expresses the MCV protein target.  Through collaboration with the UPenn lab of Todd Ridky MD, the hybrid virus infection is blocked in human 3D skin cultures, which mimics human skin.  The FCCDC team, headed by CEO Allen Reitz PhD and Rick Scott PhD are generating optimized Lead compounds for increasing the potency and safety of the hybrid virus in the human 3D skin cultures.

Treatment of MC, represents a market opportunity of about $400 million in the United States.

About Molluscum Contagiosum (MC)

Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by the virus MCV. It is caused by a virus. This virus easily spreads from person to person through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing towns and clothing. Often the only sign of molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin and can appear anywhere. Most people get about 10 to 20 bumps on their skin. Whenever you can see the bumps on the skin, molluscum contagiosum is contagious.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

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: https://viraze.net/

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 http://www.fc-cdci.com/index.html

.

ViRAZE Has Been Selected to Participate in the Angel Venture Fair, on April 26th, 2016.

Following a selection process led by a panel of Angel Investors, ViRAZE was one of 24 companies selected to participate in the annual Angel Venture Fair being held at the Union League in Philadelphia.

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: https://viraze.net/

 About Angel Venture Fair (AFV)

The Angel Venture Fair brings together the largest gathering of Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic region,. The AVF takes place Tuesday April  26th at the Union League from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., has worked with over 500 companies over the last 18 years.  : http://www.angelventurefair.com

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: https://viraze.net/

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 http://www.fc-cdci.com/index.html

[1] IMS MAT (9/2015).